Men Have Biological Clocks, Too
04.08.09 Study finds a man's optimal age for becoming a dad is the same as a woman's
A recent Australian study found that children born to older fathers have lower average scores on tests of intelligence than those born to younger dads, The New York Times reports.
Researchers at the University of Queensland say their analysis of more than 33,000 U.S. children shows that the older the man when a child is conceived, the lower a child's score is likely to be on tests of concentration, memory, reasoning and reading skills, at least through age 7.
However, it's a small gap: Just a few IQ points separated a child born to a 20 year old and another born to a 50 year old. But just like women and their biological clocks, it seems more and more studies are confirming that sperm gets older and less dependable along with every other cell in the male body. A woman's peak fertility starts to decline at age 30 to 35, health experts say.
Recently our experts explored a question regarding a link between paternal age and autism. An Israeli study of more than 300,000 young adults found that the autism rates in the offspring of men who were 40 or older when their babies were conceived were almost six times than of the children of fathers 29 or younger. The age of the mom showed no correlation.
Nearly half of all fertility troubles are linked to sperm problems. Check out our tips on the proper care and feeding of your man's "little swimmers." The most common causes of male infertility are dilated veins in the scrotum and obstruction of sperm pathways; both usually can be corrected with outpatient surgery. Sometimes, your diet has a lot to do with it. Get healthy and get pregnant following these tips on the most and least fertility friendly foods!
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.