Male fertility: The biological clock is ticking! This is something that we associate only with women but you will be surprised to learn that it’s not the case. There is a biological clock for men too, but not many are aware of the fact. According to some reports, while on average, men would have or think of having kids by 29 in the 1970s, now, the average age is around 34. While we can’t confirm the accuracy of this report, what’s medically proven is this – that even if we don’t hear it, the male biological clock is ticking too!
When women don’t have kids in their late 20s and 30s, mostly there are many pieces of advice, and concerns that keep pouring from every corner. With men, not so much as the popular belief is that there is no ripe old age for men to have kids. But only it now seems, that’s not really true as an increasing number of researches are pointing out the fact that fertility drops with age for men too.
Confirming this, Dr Manjiri Mehta, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, says, “Yes, men also have a biological clock but a lot of people are unaware of this as men continue to produce sperm.” While women have a finite number of eggs, men keep producing sperm irrespective of age. “But what they don’t realise is that with age, the quality of sperm deteriorates. The number of defective sperms goes up. Also, the level of testosterone – male sex hormone that is made in the testicles – also drops.”
There are a number of other associated problems too. Dr Mehta says, “Today’s life is very stressful and the more you age, the more the chances of comorbidities like blood sugar, hypertension etc. These in turn can affect sperm quality, and libido in men, and even can lead to erectile dysfunction.”
So by when should men ideally father a child? “At least for the first-born, like women, it’s ideal for men to become fathers by 35. If that doesn’t happen, then at least as early as possible,” says Dr Mehta.
Dr Fessy Louis T, Clinical Associate Professor, Amrita Fertility Centre, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, says the chances of children born with some disability can also go up with age. “The chances of the baby having some disability or anomaly can go up slightly if the man is above 45.”
Nevertheless, for some, it’s not possible to have a child till a later age. For an older man planning fatherhood, here are some health advices by Dr Manjiri Mehta:
– A healthy lifestyle is a must; exercise, as it boosts testosterone levels.
– Limit alcohol intake and smoking
– Have Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and zinc supplements among others
– Avoid eating too much soy as it contains a high concentration of isoflavones, which mimics estrogen in the body
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(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the experts quoted and do not reflect the views of Zee News)