Men and Fertility: Tick Tock Goes the Biological Clock

Men – did you know that you also have a biological clock? From age 35 and beyond, there is a natural decline in testosterone and sperm quality. Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, sperm also tend to lose their "fitness" over the life cycle.

The reality is most of us are having children later in life for a variety of reasons. But what couples may not realize is that men also have a "biological clock" -- just like women -- that may affect the health of their partners and children, according to a study released by Rutgers researchers. The study also found that older men struggled with fertility issues even if their partner was under 25!

Damage to sperm from aging can lead to:

  • Decrease in sperm number
  • Increase in pregnancy risks, including miscarriage
  • Decrease in pregnancy potential for the couple
  • Changes in sperm and egg that is passed into the DNA of your baby

The study found that men can experience decreased fertility and put their partners at risk for increased pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth. Infants born to older fathers were found to be at higher risk of premature birth, late still birth, low Apgar scores, low birth weight, higher incidence of newborn seizures and birth defects such as congenital heart disease and cleft palate. As they matured, these children were found to have an increased likelihood of childhood cancers, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, and autism.

These germline or heredity mutations also may contribute to the association of
advancing paternal age and disorders in the offspring, such as these children being diagnosed with autism. "Also, some studies have shown that the risk of autism starts to increase when the father is 30, plateaus after 40 and then increases again at 50."

What can you do to keep your sperm healthy and fit?

  1. You should strive to lead a healthy lifestyle throughout your reproductive
    years. It’s never too late to start!
  2. Consider banking sperm before your 35th birthday to decrease risks to health of mom and baby.
  3. Take a multivitamin that is optimized for your sperm health. Sperm health =overall health. Beli Vitality for men is perfect for you and your sperm!

Some data in this article has been republished from materials provided by Rutgers University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Additional Resources

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