The age factor: when is fatherhood considered late?
In most countries, it’s not uncommon for men to become fathers at an advanced age, unlike women who are often discouraged from becoming mothers after a certain age. In England and Wales, for example, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that the NHS should not offer IVF to women over 42. However, there is no mention of the father’s age in these guidelines. Nevertheless, research indicates that from the age of 40, men’s sperm quality begins to decline, making conception more difficult.
Problems associated with the father’s age
- Decreased sperm motility
- Increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities
- Increased rate of genetic disease in the child
What are the risks for children born to older fathers?
In fact, children born to older fathers are found to have an increased risk of suffering from diseases such as autism, schizophrenia and leukemia. For example, a 2015 study examined 90 studies involving 93,839 participants and concluded that a father’s age has a negative impact on sperm quality, including appearance, motility and DNA damage.
Another British study involving 2,112 couples showed that men over 45 were almost five times more likely to take over a year to conceive than men under 25, even when their female partners were young. Children conceived by older men also had a higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
Why is late fatherhood increasingly common?
There are several factors behind this trend, including:
- Delayed marriage
- Second marriages
- medically assisted reproduction
- Changing social norms
Solutions to help aging fathers-to-be
Against this backdrop, some companies, such as ExSeed, have introduced innovative solutions to help men assess and monitor their fertility at home. The ExSeed Home Sperm Test, combined with a smartphone app, enables men to assess the mobility, concentration and overall quality of their sperm in the comfort of their own space.
How can older fathers improve their fertility?
It’s important for men to consider their age when planning a pregnancy and take steps to preserve their fertility, including adopting a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips to promote better sperm quality:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid exposure to toxic substances
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Stop smoking
In short, it’s essential to take the father’s age into account when talking about fertility and child health. Older fathers-to-be need to be aware of the potential risks associated with their age, and take steps to preserve their fertility as much as possible. Dialogue with healthcare professionals and the use of innovative tools, such as the ExSeed sperm test, can help these men better prepare for late fatherhood.
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