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It’s widely known that a woman’s age matters for fertility, but how much a man’s age affects procreation hasn’t really been discussed. Most people assume that men can have children much later in life, which is often technically true. Men produce sperm far longer than women produce eggs, which is why some men in their 60s and 70s become biological fathers. However, age is still a factor in sperm quality, and older fathers could be adding increased health risks to their offspring.
The older a man is when he conceives children, the higher the chances of that child having a neurodevelopmental issue or genetic disease. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean older men shouldn’t try to conceive, but only that they need to be aware of the potential for increased risks to their children. Testing for sperm quality and quantity is one of the ways to see what level of risk these men may be taking as they consider conception.
Just as there’s an “advanced maternal age” for women, it’s important to designate an “advanced paternal age” and look at how that affects conception difficulties and the health of the children produced. Robert Brannigan, vice president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, has stated that the paternal age question is one that needs to be more carefully considered. In some cases it’s been listed as 40 or 45, but not everyone is in agreement with that.
Screening is typically the right choice for men who want to have children, especially if they’re a little older. That way, they can get a baseline analysis of their sperm count and quality, allowing them to make informed decisions about the future. It may also be possible for men to improve their sperm quality, especially if they make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, drinking less, and losing excess weight.
While improvement in sperm quality and count can potentially be seen at any age, not all men see benefits when they implement changes. Working with a fertility doctor can help men make informed decisions about having children, so they have the knowledge and peace of mind they need.
Our team of experts will carefully listen to you and tailor a comprehensive family-building plan to your specific wishes and needs. After a review of your assisted reproduction needs, we will draft any requisite contracts, provide you with a thorough legal consultation to explain the contract terms, and finalize your parental rights, if necessary. Contact us today to get started!