Old, older and too old: age limits for medically assisted fatherhood?

Age has not been a limiting factor for men when pursuing fatherhood. The debate around age limits in assisted reproduction has raged largely over women’s access to treatment.

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Volume 107, Issue 2, Pages 329–333


Andrea Mechanick Braverman, Ph.D.


How old is too old to be a father? Can you be a little bit older or “old-ish” to be a dad without being considered an “older dad”? At some point, does one simply become too old to be a father? Unless a man requires medical assistance in family building, that answer has historically turned solely on his opportunity to have a willing female partner of reproductive age. As with so many other aspects of family building, assisted reproductive technologies have transformed the possibilities for—and spawned heated debates about—maternal age. Much attention has been given to this contentious topic for potential mothers, with many programs putting age-related limitations in place for their female patients. This article considers whether there should also be limits—and how we should approach that question—for men who require and seek medical assistance to become fathers.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.