We hear a lot about a woman’s age, but does the father’s age matter in pregnancy?
The topic of advanced age of the male partner has been reviewed. In other words, men who are fathering children after the age of 40 may have increased risk of health risks for the baby. Although many people believe that men seem to continue fertility without regard to their age, there are some worrisome issues related to the mental health of some of the babies. Some children of fathers in their 7th and 8th decades of life have long term problems.
While there is not a lot of research on this topic, what is available has prompted us be begin advising older men of the risks of learning problems in the children. Does the father’s age matter in pregnancy?
- For several years, there has been a mild increase noted in the children with schizophrenia.
- Other studies have suggested that autism rates are high.
- Advanced paternal age might be associated with a slightly higher risk of pregnancy loss before week 20 of pregnancy (miscarriage) or stillbirth.
These changes are suspected to be related to the expression of genes. Some genes may switch off as age advances, affecting the tiny bits of chromosomes that affect mental health.
Does the father’s age matter in pregnancy? Men who have younger wives and are trying to have a baby, have an option to use donor sperm. Since the number of these cases has not been fully studied, this is not really done in practice. So, the answer is that we hope there is more research on this topic soon since so many men and women are delaying starting their families.