Impact of male partner characteristics and semen parameters on in vitro fertilization and obstetric outcomes in a frozen oocyte donor model

Male partner characteristics of advancing age, elevated body mass index, and poor sperm quality do not seem to be associated with in vitro fertilization or obstetric outcomes for couples using vitrified donor oocytes.

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Volume 110, Issue 5, Pages 859–869


Sarah M. Capelouto, B.A., Zsolt Peter Nagy, M.D., Ph.D., Daniel B. Shapiro, M.D., Sydney R. Archer, B.S., Deandrea P. Ellis, B.A., Alicia K. Smith, Ph.D., Jessica B. Spencer, M.D., M.Sc., Heather S. Hipp, M.D.



To examine the degree to which paternal variables of age, body mass index (BMI), and sperm parameters affect vitrified donor oocyte IVF outcomes. Previous studies examining the impact of male partner characteristics on in-vitro fertilization (IVF) have found conflicting results. Concerns are rising over the potential effects of paternal factors, such as age and obesity, on pregnancy and child health. Frozen donor oocyte IVF offers an ideal model to study these effects.


Retrospective chart review.


Private fertility clinic.


Nine hundred forty-nine recipients undergoing transfer of blastocyst embryo(s) from a vitrified oocyte donor bank between 2008-2015.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate, live birth rate, rate of low birth weight singleton infants (≤2500 g), and preterm deliveries (PTD) of singleton infants (<37 wk).


After adjusting for covariates known to affect oocyte donation cycle success, male age, BMI and sperm parameters were not associated with differences in IVF outcomes. There were higher PTD rates for men ≥51 years and BMI ≥35 kg/m2, however, these were not significant after adjustment. There were no differences in rates of low birth weight infants with men >35 years or BMI >25 kg/m2. Lastly, there were no differences in rates of PTD or low birth weight infants with abnormal sperm parameters.


Neither advancing male age, elevated BMI, nor poor sperm quality were associated with outcomes in frozen donor oocyte IVF cycles in this study. Intracytoplamic sperm injection and “oocyte quality” likely mitigate some of the effects of male variables on outcomes following cryopreserved oocyte donation.

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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.