We often hear about the risks for a pregnant mother above the age of 35 but what about men? Does their age matter in the mating equation?
While it’s true that men can father children into their 70′s or even 80′s, there hasn’t been much research about the health of these children, until recently.
A quick biology lesson
Women are born with all of their eggs at birth. Men, on the other hand, are constantly renewing their sperm. On one hand, we think this is good because the sperm is fresh, but it also is more representative of the male’s age and as he gets older, you see more defects and mutations and oddly-shaped sperm. In other words, the older a man is, the more chance for disorders to occur.
A biological clock… for men?
Turns out, just as women enter the high risk category at the age of 35, the same is true for men. At this age, they start to develop issues with their sperm that can affect the offspring’s health.
For example, in men over 40, there’s almost a six-fold increase in autism disorders in their children compared with men under 25.
For men in their 50s, there’s a three-fold increase in schizophrenia when compared with men under 20. And there’s a direct increase associated with age. The older the man, the higher the risk of schizophrenia in his offspring.
Mike and I are (somewhat) older parents
I had Griffin when I was 35 and Mike was almost 38. We are working on number 2 and I’m now 37 and Mike is 40. While I loved having kids later because I was able to do so much and travel and work and explore, I also think it’s harder physically. In my 20′s, I could pull all nighters, no problem. In my thirties, not so much.
The demands of a newborn all the way to chasing around a toddler are tougher when you’ve got some years under your belt. I’m gonna tell my kids, have your children in your late twenties. That way you’ve had some life, you have some wisdom, but you also have your youth.
How about YOU?
What do you think about this male sperm story? When did you have kids or when do you want them? Share with us!