It’s a widespread belief that a man’s fertility doesn’t get affected by age. So it doesn’t matter when I want to father a child since we see many news stories where celebrities or historical personalities became fathers in their old age. According to the Guinness World Records, a 92-year-old male has fathered a child. But if a reality check is done, the relationship between a man’s age and fertility will surprise you.
Does age affect male fertility?
Though men father children after the age of 40 or in their 50s, it largely depends on the female’s age and their combined fertility. As the male age progresses, it becomes gradually more difficult to get your female partner pregnant after age 40.
What are the reasons for male fertility to change with age?
For a healthy pregnancy, the sperm should have an :
- Accurate shape
- Good motility
- Good quantity and quality.
However, with age, these 3 qualities start to reduce:
- The quality of sperm declines with age
- The shape, i.e., the morphology, changes with age
- The movement, i.e., the motility of your sperm, is likely to deteriorate as you get older.
- You may also produce less sperm as you age.
Since these 3 factors get affected as the male ages, it becomes difficult for the sperm to fertilise an egg.
Did you know that around the age of 40, the testosterone levels of males start to decrease?
How male fertility changes with their age
- Reduced testosterone reduces your desire for sex. With reduced hormonal levels, regular sex also becomes difficult.
- As men get older, there are chances of many illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, cardiac issues, etc. These complications also reduce the chances of naturally fathering a child.
- If lifestyle choices are poor, like regular smoking, drinking, and being overweight, then all these reduce fertility in men. As age progresses, their effects are more prominent.
- Medications for other diseases also could interfere with fertility.
- As men get older, mostly their female partner also gets older. Female fertility is more sensitive to age. After age 30, female fertility starts to decline and drops sharply after age 35. So if both partners are older, conceiving may be more challenging.
- Fathering a child at an older age also brings social and economic complications. By the time the children are in their teens, the father is in his 50s. So at that age, the generation gap increases, and the father might not be in tip-top health condition too.
- Understanding these factors is crucial. One need not lose hope that they may not be able to father a child; all it means is that it’s likely to take longer to conceive.
What are the chances of pregnancy for men at various ages?
One should know that if the male partner is older, it will take longer for the female to conceive, irrespective of age. If both partners are under 25, they usually conceive within five months.
If the woman is under 25 and the man is over 40, then the couple must wait almost 2 years to conceive.
What are the risks associated with having children at an older age?
Some genetic conditions seem more common among babies with older fathers:-
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Very low risk of Schizophrenia
- Down’s syndrome is common only if the female partner is over 35.
- If the male is over 40 and the female is over 35, the risk of miscarriage is higher.
Please note that though the above complications seem to be age-related, other aspects influence, too, such as your life and your partner’s life and family medical history on both sides.
How can men keep fertility-related age changes to a minimum?
Please be happy to know that one can take steps on their own to minimise male fertility changes that occur with age.
Start with a healthy diet: A healthy diet helps properly produce hormones and keeps your weight in check. It gives the body a healthy environment for average sperm production with good morphology, motility, and quantity.
Quit smoking: Smokers have lower-quality semen, and when your female partner is pregnant second-hand smoke will be dangerous for her and the baby. When you are planning to start a family, it is the perfect time to stop smoking. This will not only protect you but also protect your partner from the ill effects of second smoking.
Limit your alcohol intake: excess drinking reduces your sperm quality. Take expert advice on the limits of alcohol while trying to conceive. Switch over to healthy drinks, which is also an opportunity to start a healthier lifestyle.
Keep the scrotum cool: the best quality sperm is produced when the testicles are slightly cooler than the rest of your body. So please do not work with your laptop on your lap; please use a good laptop stand. Do not use too many hot sauna baths or sit for a long time in the sun. Wear loose-fitting underwear for the scrotum to maintain a normal body temperature.
Stress-free living: Before having sex try to be calm and relaxed. This produces good-quality sperm. Do not put pressure on yourself about conceiving. Just be in the moment and stay relaxed for better results.
These tips will help you to keep your age-related fertility changes to a minimum. But bear in mind that if you are trying to conceive later in life, it is worth speaking to a fertility specialist. Based on your and your partner’s age, they might suggest additional care you must take.
They might prescribe health supplements for better sperm production and do a semen analysis to see if everything is ok.
We at ZIVA fertility clinics offer counselling services to couples trying for children at a later age. If necessary, also test the male based on age, medical condition, and family history. Please visit our website, Fertility Hospital Hyderabad | Fertility Clinic Near me | Ziva IVF Center (zivafertility.com), or contact us at +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024