Today’s 50 may be yesterday’s 30 in some aspects of men’s aging, but medical studies reveal this isn’t true for a 50 year old’s sperm. Men are learning about about the genetic risks of fathering a baby after age 35. Will their newly-found biological clocks start a new dating trend?
What is a biological clock?
It commonly refers to the declining fertility, increasing risk for fetal birth defects, and altered hormone levels experienced by women as they age. Abundant scientific evidence now suggests that men also have a biological clock.
What are some risks of fathering a child after age 40?
A team of UK and US researchers recently reported that children born to men over 40 had a six times higher risk of autism than those born to men under 30.
Other studies have linked older fathers to an increased risk of miscarriages, and to children with bipolar disorder and the rare birth disorders like dwarfism.
Researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons found that men older than 40 were more than twice as likely to have a child who develops schizophrenia as men in their 20’s.
Why is older fatherhood a new cause for concern?
The theory linking paternal age with an offspring’s health rests on spontaneous mutations in the genes of a man’s sperm cells as he ages. New studies refute the earlier theory that men could father children into their old age with no ill effects.
What is the ideal age for men to father children?
To minimize genetic abnormalities, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has set an upper age limit of 40 years old for semen donors, while UK fertility clinics only accept sperm donations from men aged 39 and under.
Studies suggest that to minimize the risk of autism, the paternal age should be under 32.
Could a man’s biological clock start a new dating trend?
A young man’s biological clock may encourage him seek a serious relationship with a young woman who is ready and willing to have children before he reaches the age of 35 or 40. These young men will have fewer years to date cougars.
A young woman who desires children may be less likely to date a father figure, unless he agrees to use a sperm donor if they decide to have children after his 50th birthday. Or she may simply prefer to date men under age 35 to increase the odds of having healthy babies with a mate closer to her age.
If more men and women over 40 spend less time dating younger, will they find unexpected delights in dating each other? Let us know if you notice these new trends in your dating life.
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