It is often assumed that there is no upper age limit on male fertility, and when an Indian pensioner named Ramjeet Raghav recently became the world’s oldest dad at 96 years of age, we seemed to have confirmation of this.
But, while the effects of ageing have been far less studied in men than women, there is a body of research that shows that both quality and volume of semen drops with age.
Increased risk of mutation & mental illness
Research published in the August edition of the prestigious scientific journal Nature found that a 36-year old father passes twice as many mutations to a child as a 20-year old father. A 50-year old passes four times as many. Other studies have indicated an increased risk of mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia in the children of older fathers. It has been suggested that the significant increase in autism in children is partly due to the increased age of fathers.
The increase in mutations occurs because older men’s sperm is more liable to DNA damage.
How to improve sperm quality
Before you start worrying too much about this though, remember that there is much that men can do to maintain and improve the quality of their sperm, thus protecting against and reversing DNA damage.
There are two important take away messages here:
- Older men who are trying for a baby would be well advised to both get their sperm assessed through testing. We can arrange comprehensive sperm testing for you through our convenient laboratory that is open early and on Saturdays. Call us to find out more.
- Men should take active steps towards improving the quality of their sperm. We find that the quality of sperm is often more quickly improved than egg quality or quantity. And any improvement in sperm will increase your monthly chances of a pregnancy.
We can also help to improve your sperm quality through nutrition, modifying your lifestyle, neutroceuticals supplementation, acupuncture and herbal medicine. We always create individual programmes based on your needs, your time and your current lifestyle.