Age is no bar for unconditional affection and love. One of the greatest joys of lives is to hold your newborn child in your hands! To become a parent is an exhilarating experience and there is no age limit/suitable age to enter parenthood. Our Bollywood celebrities such as Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt to our Hollywood celebrities such as George Clooney and Michael Douglas are living examples that age is just a number! Irrespective of all these, there are certain hardcore facts attached to fathering a child at an old age.
The Standard Question
Every married woman in her 30s without children goes through the age-old ritual of being asked the same question “You’re well into your 30s, haven’t you still planned for a baby?” or “You’ll need to conceive as early as possible.” While their husbands should also be well into their 30s, they are never bombarded with such awkward questions. This brings us to ask a question ourselves- Is it only a woman’s biological clock that ticks away and do men remain fertile and healthy forever? Or, maybe the society is too concerned about the woman in the family and unaware of the risk factors and issues surrounding male fertility and health of the offspring.
It is true that men continue producing sperms lifelong at the same rate, but there are plenty other factors that affect the birth of a healthy infant. Also, women in their late 30s start experiencing difficulties conceiving whereas the risk of not able to produce good-quality sperms can start either at 40s, 50s or even 60s in the case of men.
Fathering a child well into your 40s is pretty difficult and foremost important is staying fertile enough to advocate pregnancy. Various factors such as sperm quality (number of sperms remain the same, but their shape and movement deteriorate as one grows old increasing fertility difficulty levels) and having an old partner (older men mostly have older partners and female fertility rates decline steadily after the age of 35) make conception a bigger problem in life. Also, older sperms might have more mutations that can be damaging. While there are suggestions that an aging sperm has longer telomeres that promise longevity of the child, there is no strong evidence backing this.
Problems that Your Age Picks on the Way
One is quite aware of the number of tests and ultrasounds that a mother-to-be undergoes these days to deliver a healthy child. This is mainly due to different lifestyle practices followed-individuals marry late, conceive even later and follow numerous unhealthy food habits-that can result in babies born with defects or ill-health. Research show that there are quite a few genetic conditions linked to babies with older fathers. The major conditions that can affect a newborn child whose father is above the age of 40 include:
IVF Success Rate
A study shows that in couples requiring IVF to conceive, the chances of giving birth to a live baby decreased when the father’s age increased. Harvard researchers who analyzed more than 7000 couples undergoing IVF procedure found that:
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