The Male Biological Clock and Its Impact on Your Chances of Fatherhood
You might have heard of ‘female biological clocks’ many times, but not so much about the ‘male biological clock’. Well, it exists — and it’s more interesting than you think.
The female age usually gets the blame for miscarriages and difficult or failed pregnancies. Women are often told that delaying pregnancy isn’t ideal. This justifies why many of them rush to marry and have children.
For men, though, it’s the opposite. They don’t go wife-shopping until they reach their 30s or 40s. Having children is the least of their worries because men are known for their unending sperm production.
Older men don’t have the ‘fertility alarm’ that older women have. Or so they thought…
What Could Go Wrong
A recent study from the journal ‘Maturitas’ suggests that the male biological clock is real. Just like women, old age also impacts a man’s physiological health. Fertility decline starts to happen. Or simply, their chances of fathering a child decrease with age.
Men can still produce sperm regularly, but the sperm count starts to drop. They say it also loses ‘fitness’. Men also become vulnerable to genetic vulnerabilities.
Advanced paternal age could be the cause of a miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. Children born to older men also have higher risks of getting autism, cancer, psychological risks, and schizophrenia.
Advanced paternal age may begin at the age of 45.
Even with wives significantly younger than them, the risks are still there. It brings complications to both the mother and the infant during pregnancy.
Mothers may suffer complications such as pre-term birth, diabetes, and preeclampsia. The infants, on the other hand, may suffer early or late stillbirth and low birth weight, among others.
So it’s no longer on the aging mother alone. Men’s old age plays a big role in the success or failure of the pregnancy.
What Men Must Do
Men must start educating themselves about their reproductive responsibilities, especially if they have plans in starting a family. They must seek awareness of the effect of their old age on their wives’ pregnancy.
They must also start minding their fertility health. Younger men must take care of their overall health to protect their parenting potential.
They should seriously consider changing their unhealthy lifestyle. Exercise daily and eat healthy food. Tobacco and alcohol are tempting, but better resist them once in a while. It’s best if they’d give them up completely. And avoid drugs.
Steroids can cause infertility in men, so they must avoid it as well. Hypertension isn’t good friends with a healthy reproductive system either, so men might as well control and monitor their blood pressure.
Marrying earlier than 45 is an option. After all, having healthier babies is more possible at this age.
Men who still think of having babies later in life might as well plan it. They may visit fertility centers and have their semen evaluated. They may also consider preserving their sperm for future use, such as banking or freezing it.
Men must not let biological clocks hunt them, but they must be mindful of it.