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Do Men Have a “Biological Clock”?

Men's Fertility Changes As They Age

Many women are painfully aware they have about 15-years of peak fertility and their chances of successfully conceiving diminish significantly starting at about age 35. Because of the fact that peak fertile years are limited, women who hope to become mothers often feel pressured to build a family before age 30, when they’re still most likely to conceive and carry a baby to full-term successfully. The reason women must face the cruel reality of their so-called “biological clock” is that the female reproductive system is equipped with the eggs it will ever have for a woman’s entire lifetime. As they advance in age, women’s egg quantity and quality decrease.

But what about men? Science has shown they, too, have peak fertile years. Although it is less discussed than women’s biological clocks, men do, indeed, have a similar dilemma, but many are sadly left unaware of it. Because men generate sperm continuously throughout their lives, many assume they should be able to father children well into their twilight years. Recent research taken over a 40-year time span has proven otherwise.

In fact, most men’s fertility declines after age 45. While the reasons for this are unclear, but researchers speculate that sperm quality degrades with age. The study found that not only do older men experience decreased fertility with advanced paternal age, but they also put their female partners at heightened risk of pregnancy complications. Infants born to older fathers are also found to have a higher risk of premature birth, stillbirth, lower birth weight, and birth defects. The children of older fathers also have an increased likelihood of developing psychiatric or cognitive disorders, as well as childhood cancers.

Fertility Tips for Men Over 45

Fortunately, men who face infertility woes have many treatment options available, including freezing their sperm, preferably before their 35th birthday, but at least by their 45th birthday, so as to decrease the risks of threatened health of the mother and baby. Fertility screenings may also help uncover the root cause of male infertility. These screenings usually involve blood work tests to check hormone levels, semen analysis, and any other tests deemed necessary to assess the root cause of a man’s infertility.

Struggling with male infertility? Contact us at Palm Beach Fertility Center for a fertility screening with our specialist, Dr. Mark Denker. Reach out today for an appointment by calling (888) 819-5177, or contact us online now.