Women face the brunt of societal pressure to have children before a certain age, but a new study concludes that the so-called biological clock is a concern for men, too. The authors suggest that more men may want to consider banking their sperm if they intend to wait until later in life to start a family. The paper, published in the journal Maturitas, is a review of the medical literature on older fathers, defined as starting between the ages 35 and 45, depending on which researchers you ask. It highlights studies showing a variety of increased health risks incurred by the partners and children of these older dads.
Blokes over 35 should freeze sperm if they want kids, experts warn
The truth about male fertility decline
Evidence-based guidance. Personal stories that matter. Sign up now to get NYT Parenting in your inbox every week. People are becoming parents at ever-increasing ages, a trend that can have implications for the health of the pregnancy, the babies and the women who birth them.
What Men and Women 35 and Older Must Know About Fertility, Infertility, and Getting Pregnant
And leaving it too late increases the likelihood of health problems for both the mother and child. The study, published in the journal Maturitas, found women were more likely to suffer pregnancy complications - such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia - if the dad was over Tots born to older fathers had a greater chance of premature delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and suffer birth defects such as congenital heart disease and cleft palate.
Researchers say it becomes more difficult for men to father children as they age, especially if their female partner is older, too. Men, on the other hand, constantly produce new sperm and some men past the age of 80 occasionally father children. That fuels the myth that men remain fertile all of their lives and can parent children as long as they can perform sexually.