Do Men Also Have a Biological Clock?

Do Men Also Have a Biological Clock?

PIt is common knowledge that men do not experience menopause. Typically, they can continue to reproduce well into old life. But time still has an impact.

According to Christian Leiber-Caspers, the older males get, the greater the chance that their sperm will pass on mutations to their offspring. It has been discovered in several research that men who are above the age of 40, 50, or 60 experience these alterations.

In Germany, Leiber-Caspers oversees andrology at the Maria-Hilf Hospital Alexianer Krefeld Clinic for Urology, Pediatric Urology, Urogynecology, and Andrology. Men’s health is the focus of the medical specialty known as andrology.

According to statistics, there is a higher likelihood of birth abnormalities, said Leiber-Caspers.

With each year that goes by, a man’s sperm develops more mutations.

The whole genetic makeup of newly formed sperm is copied from those of preexisting sperm cells. With time, this regular copying procedure increases the chance of making either little or large mistakes. The number of these mistakes might then increase over time.

Also, as males age, the body’s capacity to automatically fix potential genetic flaws decreases.

“In a healthy young man, we assume he has more than 39 million sperm in one ejaculate sample. Some may even have as many as 200, 300 or even 400 million sperm,” Leiber-Caspers said. “Although you send quite a few million sperm to the starting line, in the end it is only a single sperm that fertilizes the egg.”

So, it’s an intensive and competitive selection process. Only the most mobile sperm have a chance of getting to and entering the egg cell.

But even if about 90% of the sperm fail, and some carry defects, that is perfectly okay from a biological point of view, said Leiber-Caspers.

“We assume that a healthy young male has more than 39 million sperm in a single ejaculate sample. As much as 200, 300, or even 400 million sperm may be present in certain “says Leiber-Caspers. “Even though you throw a lot of sperm at the starting line, only one sperm actually fertilizes the egg in the end.”

It is therefore a rigorous and competitive selection process. Only the sperm with the greatest mobility have a chance of reaching and entering the egg cell.

According to Leiber-Caspers, biologically speaking, it is entirely fine even if 90% of the sperm fail and some have abnormalities.

New parents are increasingly older: According to the German Federal Statistical Office, the average age of first-time moms in Germany has been rising steadily in recent years and will reach 30.5 years in 2021.

Pregnancy is seen as having a significant risk for women over 35. For instance, the infant might be born with trisomy 21, or Down syndrome.

With an average age of 33.3, first-time fathers in Germany are also growing older.

Researchers have been studying the biological clock of men and the dangers of late fatherhood for the past ten years. But, this hasn’t yet produced any conclusive findings or suggestions.

These studies are challenging to carry out because, according to researchers, a mother’s data must also be included, adding an infinite number of variables.

Leiber-Caspers said, “It is difficult to determine what exactly are the specific circumstances that can then be important for the child’s health. However in some circumstances, you can be fairly positive that the father’s advanced age is a factor.

Fatherhood in older age increases the risk of hereditary disease: About 20 genetic disorders linked to a father’s age have been found by researchers. Trisomy 21 is mostly linked to the physiology of the mother, but a father’s age can also affect a child’s mental or psychological health, including the emergence of schizophrenia or bipolar illness.

Researchers have shown that children who were born when their fathers were over the age of 45 have a 3.5-fold higher chance of acquiring autism than children who were born when their fathers were in their early 20s.

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), an autoimmune condition, is one of the diseases that run in families. It may show symptoms of epilepsy, pulmonary embolisms, arthritis, or memory issues.

According to studies, children with older fathers had about 13 times higher prevalence of attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and an almost 25 times higher prevalence of the bipolar disorder.

All of this, however, is something that “could” happen rather than something that “will definitely happen.”

Additionally, older fathers have benefits: Older males also have some benefits on a social and societal level. They frequently have a strong social network as well as career and financial security. In comparison to possibly younger males who are just starting to establish themselves in life, they may be able to spend more time with their children if they are quite old. A father older than 35 may be a little calmer and perhaps a little more kind in his dealings with his children, even though his sperm is no longer quite as mobile as that of a younger guy at those ages.

According to Leiber-Casters, “a calendar 60-year-old may only be physiologically 50 or 55, but of course, you may question whether someone in his 70s can still fulfill his function as a father and truly keep up with his children in the same way as a man in his 20s or 30s.”