Having A Baby With An "Older" Man Can Be Risky, Says Science

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Older sperm may be a bigger risk factor than we thought.

So you're madly in love with a Silver Fox. You see a nice lifestyle ahead with a man who knows who he is and has life experience and confidence to make things happen. He’s spent years building his career and now has the time to dedicate to your relationship. He’s even open to starting a family with you and talks about being a devoted father.

Sounds Great, Right?

Older men often make excellent husbands and fathers. This is partly due to a decrease in the career-orientation of many men as they enter their 40s. With less emphasis on work, older men turn their attention to their partner and kids.

This pattern fits perfectly with younger women who want to have children in their 20s. They can focus on mothering without worrying about their career, then head back to school or out to the workforce in their late 30s once their kids are teenagers. A lot of younger mothers benefit from the many social advantages of being with an older man.

You Might Want To Reconsider

Though while this sounds ideal, younger women may want to reconsider. Research shows that older men are at a biological disadvantage when it comes to fatherhood. Older sperm contains more genetic mutations than younger sperm, and may contribute to greater health issues in offspring, such as autism and mental disorders.

This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the same tendency is well known in older women who delay motherhood and must rely on having older eggs fertilized when having children. And of course, the rise in potential health issues of offspring is well known when both parents are more mature.

While the statistical significance of older sperm in producing offspring with health issues is not yet known, it's important to recognize the potential danger of having children with a Silver Fox.

Prioritize Kids Now

If your man is 45 or older, you may wish to prioritize the baby agenda, as it appears that getting pregnant sooner is better than later. If your man is in his 50s or beyond, maybe you'll reconsider his baby-daddy status and have children with the help of a sperm donor instead. Luckily, older men are often wise enough to know that biological fatherhood is so much less important than social fatherhood and that fathering children is not necessarily related to genetic connection.

Romantics will argue that the most important thing about having children is the love that's felt between the parents. Yes, of course, this is important. Love that grows out of commitment, passion and intimacy is a solid resource for child-raising together — especially when that child may have challenging health issues. Acknowledging the role of aging sperm in baby-making doesn't mean you should avoid older dads at all costs. Rather, it's just one of many factors to consider when choosing when and with whom to have a family.



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