How Age Affects Fertility in Men and Women II

For those wondering if age affects fertility, the answer is yes. In case of women, fertility starts decreasing after the age of 30. After this age, they are less likely to get pregnant and more likely to have infertility problems.  Most women are able to give birth to a healthy baby and to conceive naturally at 35 years old. After 35 years, complications such as miscarriage can appear. Unfortunately, at the age of 40, only two in five cases of women wanting to have a baby will succeed. Concerning the biological perspectives, it is recommended to start a family before the age of 35.

On the other hand, men can remain fertile for a longer period of time. Even so, men fertility does decrease within age, but it happens gradually. But the decline of fertility in men can affect the health of the baby. Doctors always announced women their biological clock is ticking and if they want to get pregnant, they should hurry up and do it. Recent studies show that men also have a biological clock and it is ticking as well.  The biological clock in case of women implies a decline of oestrogen and increased chances of genetic abnormalities. But this is exactly what happens to men as well. As men get older, there is also a decline in testosterone.  This was not appreciated in the past. Back then, when the subject of biological clock came on, it referred to diseases that caused the baby to have health problems and to die at early age. Within the last four or five years, studies showed that children can be affected by various syndromes with an older father, such as Down syndrome, autism disorders and more.

Men under 25 years old have higher chances of having children born healthy. But once the age 40 is reached, the chances of autism disorders in children are increased. There is a direct increase of disorder appearances associated with age. As men are older, the offspring have higher risks of schizophrenia. When both men and women are over their 35, complications and problems start to appear. For instance, if the woman is under 35 and the baby has Down syndrome, it does not matter how old the father is. But if the woman is over 35, the age effect is more dramatic from the father. People consider that as long as men can produce sperm, it means they are still fertile. In theory, men can have children at any age, as long as they still have sperm. But fertility does decline, as the sperm quality decreases as the male gets older. After the age of 30, it is known that men start facing a drop in testosterone of 1% per year. In order to make good quality sperm, testosterone is needed and it symbolizes energy. This means it will take much longer for a man to help conceive a baby.

Age has a direct impact on a woman’s reproductive system. A woman has a limited number of eggs and as the woman advances in age, there are fewer eggs available. Age does have impact on the sperm as well. Cells in the body deteriorate as men and women get older. Sperm cells keep regenerating themselves, as opposite to eggs. But genetic mutation occurs due to the constant turnover of sperm cells. The higher chances of a disorder to happen are at older age, when the sperm cells continue to divide. The male clock starts ticking after the age of 30, when there is a decline in man’s health. This happens when discussing about hormones. It starts at that age, but it does not happen at once, but gradually. If both partners are over 35, genetic testing is needed and there should be awareness between them. Men can be in control of the situation and decrease the possibility of having genetic and abnormal sperm. This implies no smoking, a better lifestyle, taking care of any infections that might appear in the way and more. A healthy lifestyle is known to help lower fertility and to improve the age factors that lead to it.  Just as it happens in women’s case, obesity does affect men as well. There is a direct correlation between the testosterone level and the waist size. On the other hand, being too thin is also unhealthy. The indicated B.M.I. should be between 20 and 25.

The biggest problem is that couples wait too long to have children and they postpone the event. Young couples need to be aware of this information and should know the causes and the consequences of having children at an older age. It is best to have children earlier than later. It is healthy for the parents, but for the children as well. In time complications can appear and many will end up needing surgical interventions and medication.