Men, Your Fertility Most Certainly Does Decrease As You Age

People are waiting longer to start families these days – if they decide to start them at all – and a number of factors are at play. Some people struggle to find the perfect person to have kids with, others marry early but want to be financially set before taking the plunge, and others still want to ensure they’ve done all of the fun stuff they want to do before tying themselves down.

Women are all-too-aware that their childbearing years are limited, but it turns out that is true if you’re a man, too.

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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?

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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.

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If you do want to have your own biological children, it turns out there still is a benefit to doing it sooner rather than later.

That said, there’s no need to give up your twenties and early thirties. Those are for you, so enjoy them.