The influence of the man’s age on the child’s health
The fact that the age of a woman affects the future baby, the risk of developing pathologies in it, is known to many: when a pregnant woman is over 35, the probability of mutations in the fetus increases. But it turns out that the age of the father also matters to the health of the child.
Probability of conception
Men, unlike women, can become fathers at any age – their sperm production does not cease over the years. But the quality of sperm is deteriorating. Sperm motility is reduced, making it harder for them to reach the egg. Their stamina falls, and the sperm fails to penetrate the shell of the egg. In addition, the muscles of the perineum become weaker and do not provide the necessary contractions of the penis.
All this leads to the fact that the possibility of conception is significantly reduced. Thus, a 45-year-old man has three times less chances to conceive a child than a 35-year-old. In addition, in women who conceived from a mature man, the risks of complications of pregnancy and miscarriages increase.
Risk of fetal abnormalities
The most unpleasant thing is that mutations accumulate in sperm DNA in adulthood, and age fathers can transmit various genetically determined diseases to the child, such as Marfan’s disease (connective tissue pathology), Aper’s syndrome (disruption of bone formation), Recklinghausen’s disease (occurrence of neurofibroma and skin), polycystic kidney disease.
The risk of developing genetic diseases in a baby with an “old” father increases by 20%.
In the scientific literature there is an opinion that there is a relationship between the mature age of a man and the future development of schizophrenia in a child. But most researchers do not support this hypothesis, believing that such a risk exists if there was this disease in the family. In other cases, at any age of the father, the probability of such a diagnosis does not exceed 1%.
Does this mean that the younger the man, the higher the likelihood that the baby will be born healthy? It turned out that everything is not so simple.
Scientists have discovered that young fathers who are under 18 years old are more likely to have gene mutations than even older men. The case in puberty boys. During puberty, the boys’ spermatozoa, or rather their DNA, contain a large number of mutations – a third more than the germ cells of the aged men. And only a few years after the end of puberty, the male reproductive system begins to produce mostly normal spermatozoa. For comparison: in adolescent girls such mutations are much smaller.
Doctors have discovered that it is children of young fathers who are more often born with various immune pathologies and generally have poorer health.
The optimal paternity age
The reproductive system works best for a man between the ages of 20 and 38 years old: during these years he produces normal spermatozoa and the number of mutations in them is minimal. Accordingly, children of such fathers have the lowest risk of congenital abnormalities. Interestingly, the children of young fathers were more susceptible to various genetic abnormalities than even children of age parents.
As for very young people, they certainly should not hurry with the birth of a child. Their bodies are not quite ready for this. In addition, boys who have just stepped over the adolescent period, in the overwhelming majority of cases, have not even matured psychologically to their fatherhood – after all, the child must be cared for and raised, which requires a lot of mental energy and time.
If we talk about a man after 45-50, then he may well become the father of a healthy baby. Just before conception, it is necessary to undergo a complete genetic examination together with the expectant mother, to make a sperm analysis to make sure that there is no risk of having a sick child. Moreover, people who have stepped over the 40-year threshold approach the desire to have a child more consciously, which means that they will pay more attention and care to the baby.
By the way, there is an opinion that geniuses are born from age parents.