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Men have a biological clock too

<p><img src="/nairobi/PublishingImages/Men%20biological%20clock%20body.jpg" alt="" style="margin: 5px; font-family: helvetica;"/> </p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">It is no-brainer that men have largely been excluded from the “ticking biological clock&quot; conversation due to their ability to make new sperm daily. While most women are aware of the effects of age on conception and pregnancy, many men are not. Therefore, if there&#39;s even a small chance that you want to have a child one day, it&#39;s important that you think about your fertility health as a man.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Does age affect the quality of sperm?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">It is true that age does affect the quality of sperm in men but not as much as the case in women who are older. Male reproductive organs involved in the creation of sperm become slower and less efficient with age, resulting in lower sperm count.  This is more observed in men after the age of 45 years. However, how much this may affect chances of pregnancy is not exactly known but it&#39;s possible that the frequency of intercourse may decrease with time which in turn decreases the chance of conception.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Are there health complications likely to arise?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">We haven&#39;t seen an increased risk of any genetic abnormalities from children born of older men but if there are significant male-factor-issues, then we may also see a slight chance of increase in certain male conditions in male newborns. </span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">How healthy can I live to improve my fertility?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">If you are not in a hurry to have children, it&#39;s important to live healthy to protect the health of your sperm as well as its potency. This mostly means focusing on your general health by eating healthy and exercising regularly, as well as limiting your consumption of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Some men might also consider having a semen analysis done to evaluate the number, motility, and morphology of their sperm. If you&#39;re in your 30s and want to preserve your fertility for future child-bearing when ready, you can consider freezing and storing your sperm.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What of the appropriate age for women?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">There&#39;s an association between the chance of getting pregnant with age in females and women in their 20s have the best chances to conceive. This decreases progressively in their 30s and more sharply in their 40s. With this realization, there&#39;s always pressure but it&#39;s always important for a woman to embark on child-bearing when they are ready.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Modern day technology has made it possible for women to preserve fertility for future child-bearing and anyone interested can speak to a fertility specialist for guidance.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What&#39;s the biological clock for women?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">There&#39;s an average age of menopause in women which is generally considered about 50 years when most women start to exhibit symptoms. We tend to worry when there&#39;s early menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency because this will be before the age of 45 years. The ovary produces hormones that are useful for well-being particularly the bones, heart health and general wellness.  If these hormones aren&#39;t there dues to early menopause, there might be complications arising from lack of estrogen and you may find bones becoming weak and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;"><em>By Dr Charles Muteshi, Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist and Fertility Expert at Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi</em></strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><em>This article was first published in Business Daily on July 20, 2022 </em>

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