Men often think that their age doesn’t matter when it comes to having a child and the biological clock is important only for the child-bearing mother. However, the number and quality of the sperm declines with your age. From a biological standpoint, experts recommend a man is best suited to fatherhood from his late 20s to early 30s.
Men typically never stop producing sperm but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a ‘biological clock’ like women. As a man ages, his sperm undergoes genetic mutations which increases the likelihood that the DNA of his sperm may be damaged. This can influence fertility and also create potential impacts on the health of his future children.
Men typically never stop producing sperm, but there is a decline in sperm quality with age. The World Health Organization has set semen parameters which are benchmarks for healthy sperm. These include count, morphology (shape), and motility (movement). Starting around the age of 35, men may see their semen parameters getting worse.
Sperm health can depend on various factors which influence chances of fertility. In terms of quantity, fertility is most likely if the semen discharged in a single ejaculation contains at least 15 million sperm per milliliter. Too little sperm in an ejaculation might make it more difficult to get pregnant. When it comes to sperm motility, pregnancy is possible with less than 40% of the sperm in ejaculate moving, with 40% being the threshold since the more the better chances of fertility.
The age where a man is most fertile is between 22 and 25 years. It is suggested to have children before the age of 35. After this age, the male fertility begins to worsen. After 35, the sperm might result in pregnancies where mutations can occur. Going further, if the age of the man is above 45 years, then the chances of having a miscarriage are much higher, irrespective of the age of the pregnant woman.
What age is too young too young to become a father? A research published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that becoming a father before the age of 25 could lead to serious health consequences and may even lead to untimely death in middle age. The study found that men who became fathers earlier in life were more likely to have poor health and die younger than those who delayed fatherhood until they were 30 to 44. Apart from this, there is a considerable amount of psychological and financial stress that can come with having a child in your early adulthood when you are not fully prepared for it.
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a while to no avail, then you must visit a doctor. For men, there are a wide range of tests to find out whether or not you’re infertile.
Start with getting an evaluation by a urologist. You’ll have to undergo a physical exam and the doctor will ask you of your medical history and lifetsyle habits.
A healthy lifestyle is a great way for improving your overall sperm health. However, there is no guarantee that it will prevent the effects of your old age on your fertility. If you want to protect your fertility, you can consider freezing your sperm while it’s at its youngest and healthiest quality. Sperm freezing is the process of collecting, analyzing, freezing and storing a man’s sperm. This can provide you with more flexibility when it comes to when you want to have children.