How Men Can Increase Their Fertility If Planning to Wait to Have Kids
by Ashley Dreiling
Much attention is often paid to women, reminding them their “biological clock” is ticking away, counting down until their childbearing years are over. Men, on the other hand, usually don’t experience the same pressures to settle down and start a family. However, growing evidence suggests that age also affects men’s fertility.
The population in general is waiting longer and longer to become parents, and the decision to wait until later in life to have kids is based on many factors. These include student debt, housing in an uncertain economy, advanced education, and career building.
It’s a common misconception that only women face fertility difficulties as they age, but men do as well, especially those 40 and older. Advanced age in men has been linked to negative sperm quality, reduced fertility, and an increase in both miscarriage and health conditions in children – particularly autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and leukemia.
What can men do now to ensure they are fertile when they want to have children in the future?
First, evaluate your lifestyle. Research suggests that avoiding smoking, drugs, and excessive alcohol, as well as maintaining a nutritious diet and exercise routine, are important for healthy sperm. These lifestyle factors should begin in your teens and 20s.
New technologies, such as egg and sperm freezing, are available to increase the odds of older parents conceiving healthy children.
Even with these advancements, it’s important for both men and women to seek partners who have the same goals and engage in frank and honest discussions about if and when you want to start a family.