A common misconception is that men can have children at any age. However, this is far from the truth. As men get older, the harder it is to conceive and have a healthy baby.
In 2000, a study in Bristol also found that men aged 40 and older were half as likely to get their partners pregnant compared to men under 25.
The quality of a man’s sperm deteriorates as he gets older. Male fertility dips from the age of 40. After this age, it takes a longer time to conceive, and even when conception is successful, there is a higher risk of miscarriage and developmental problems in the baby. As men age, the DNA in their sperm accumulates damage. Dr. Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology at Sheffield University, says that “If the DNA is damaged, they might get fertilisation, but the embryo won’t develop or it will miscarry”.
Increased risk of miscarriage and health problems in baby
Children of older fathers are also more likely to suffer from health problems. They have a higher risk of developing mental health issues and autism spectrum disorders. In a study of 70,000 couples, researchers found that men aged 50 and above were 4 times more prone to have a child with Down’s syndrome.
How can you protect your fertility?
To keep your reproductive system healthy, you should have a balanced diet, abstain from smoking and excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption. You should also avoid wearing tight clothes or having electronic gadgets near your groin. Read more on things to avoid when you want to conceive.
Most miscarriages are often one-off incidents, and less than 1 percent of women are likely to have a second miscarriage. Couples should consult their gynae and wait until they are physically ready and emotionally ready before trying to conceive again.
As a general rule, you should wait for about 18 to 24 months before trying to conceive again. The longer the time the better it will be. It should be noted that duration will vary from person to person