Older women try­ing for baby should opt for toy boy

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

LON­DON: It’s not only women who need to worry about their bi­o­log­i­cal clock tick­ing.

Men who wait un­til their 40s to try to be­come fa­thers could cut their chances by more than a third.

A study in the US has found that men aged 40 to 42 with a fe­male part­ner who is un­der 30 have an av­er­age birth rate of 46%.

This is more than a third be­low the 73% rate for men aged 30 to 35.

DNA be­comes da­m­aged with age, ex­plain­ing the higher risk of older men hav­ing chil­dren with autism and schizophre­nia, ex­perts be­lieve. And men aged 40 to 42 are a fifth less likely to have a baby than be­fore their 30th birth­day, the re­sults sug­gest.

The find­ings, for cou­ples hav­ing in-vitro fer­til­i­sa­tion, sug­gest women are bet­ter off try­ing for chil­dren with a man their own age or younger.

Com­ment­ing on the re­search by Beth Is­rael Dea­coness Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bos­ton, Bri­tish ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Nick Mack­lon of Southamp­ton Univer­sity said: “I sup­pose from the so­cial side the value of this is not only in coun­selling cou­ples about when to move for ART (as­sisted re­pro­duc­tive tech­nol­ogy), but it may help women en­cour­age their male part­ners to get a move on.”

Sci­en­tists an­a­lysed data on 7 753 cou­ples seen at a Bos­ton fer­til­ity clinic be­tween 2000 and 2014.

Their re­sults sug­gest women who have put off try­ing for a baby are much bet­ter off find­ing a toy boy if they want to fall preg­nant. Those aged 35 to 40 were al­most 30% more likely to have a child with a part­ner aged be­low 30 than one aged 30 to 35.

Dr Gil­lian Lock­wood, of Mid­land Fer­til­ity Ser­vices, who was not in­volved in the study, said: “While a lit­tle girl is born with ev­ery egg she is ever go­ing to have, men are mak­ing new sperm ev­ery morn­ing all the way through their re­pro­duc­tive lives.

“But ev­ery time there is cell di­vi­sion to make the next gen­er­a­tion of sperm, there is the pos­si­bil­ity of er­ror creep­ing in,” she added.

“It’s the cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect of these er­rors as cell di­vi­sion goes on and on that is prob­a­bly caus­ing the prob­lem.”

Lead re­searcher Dr Laura Dodge said older men try­ing to con­ceive nat­u­rally were less likely to get women preg­nant, took longer to do so and in­creased risk of mis­car­riage.

This may be due to DNA dam­age and changes to genes.

The US study, pre­sented at the Euro­pean Society of Hu­man Re­pro­duc­tion and Em­bry­ol­ogy in Geneva, Switzer­land, found women saw their chances of a live birth fall 46% from when they are un­der 30 to aged 40 to 42. But men cut odds of hav­ing a baby by 20% over the same time.

Dodge said there was lit­tle men could do to coun­ter­act the ef­fect of age on their sperm, adding: “The best pre-con­cep­tion ad­vice we can of­fer is to main­tain a healthy life­style.” – Daily Mail

DNA be­comes da­m­aged with age, ex­perts say

PIC­TURE: AP

YOUNG DADS: Re­search has shown that men younger than 30 have a bet­ter chance of fa­ther­ing a child.

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