Do men have a biological clock too?

Have you ever wondered about the ticking of the male biological clock?

We know that women are most fertile from age 20-35, with an abundance of egg reserves and them being of the highest quality during this time. After 35 the quantity and quality declines and by the age of 40 it becomes harder to conceive naturally.

 

But what about men?

There are several factors that impact male fertility – one of those being age.

We often hear in the media about celebrities having babies at a much older age. Did you know that Charlie Chaplin had a son at 73 and Steve Martin became a first-time dad at 67?

There have not been a lot of studies completed on the effects of advanced paternal age on reproduction. But we do know that both men and women are delaying having babies until they are older. Many studies across the US and UK have shown this.

 

How does it all work?

As a man ages his testosterone and oestrogen levels tend to be lower. New sperm is made each day, but the quality of that sperm will change as the man gets older. We do have the ability to complete a semen analysis which measures the number and quality of sperm. This analysis is completed for nearly all men that are undergoing fertility treatment.

Age can also have an impact on sexual function including the desire to have sex as well as erectile function.

 

How old is too old?

Current research shows that the impacts are small and should not have any sway on your decision to have a baby.

We do know that the offspring of fathers who are older have an increased rate of genetic abnormalities, cancers, autism and mental health issues. Although overall these rates are very low occurring anywhere between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 50,000 children.  At present, there is no screening or diagnostic tests that can predict if this will occur.

More than anything else, a lot of it currently comes down to life expectancy and this is something that you should discuss with your G.P.

To keep that male biological clock ticking, ensure you keep healthy – make changes if need be, quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake. Don’t forget to eat well and get moving…