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Do Men Have a Biological Clock?
Starting as early as their teenage years, most women hear about the concept of having a “biological clock,” but men aren’t pressured in the same way from both a societal and medical perspective. In recent years, more studies have been performed in order to ascertain whether men have a biological clock like women do. If they do, does the man’s age matter when he conceives children?
Proving that the male biological clock exists
One of the most relevant and recent studies stems from researchers at Harvard University who reviewed more than 19,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cases. They found that men aged 40-42 had a lower chance of successful treatment than men aged 30-35, provided that the female partner was under age 30. Of course, female fertility is still critical to the success of fertility treatment plans, but according to the study, the notion that the male partner holds no impact on treatment and/or even the ability to conceive is unlikely.
Caring for and about male fertility
So, in a sense, men do have a biological clock that they need to consider during family planning discussions, but it is not necessarily as critical as the female biological clock. Nevertheless, men do need to consider that responsibility for fertility issues is equally shared by men and women. One-third of infertility cases are attributed to male-factor infertility, while the remaining two thirds are attributed to female-factor and “unexplained” causes. A less influential biological clock does not excuse for causes where low or poor sperm count occur, not to mention the fact the caring for male fertility is typically entirely ignored.
Male fertility care should begin when men are in their 20s, and should include healthcare concerns like STD prevention and treatment, improving lifestyle habits, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, proper diet and exercise, and effort to prevent groin and spinal injury. These injuries would have a particularly profound impact on fertility should they occur.
Should I consider sperm freezing?
Sperm freezing is most typically promoted as an option for men in the military who are expecting to be deployed, men facing a recent cancer diagnosis or men whose career or hobbies feature extreme sports where a spinal or groin injury is likely. That being said, the procedure is not limited to men only in those situations. Any male interested in preserving his fertility can do so.