Advanced Maternal Age and Ageless Sperm

3 Dec

I know a lot of terrific women who are 35 years plus and are yet to become a mother. The driving force behind their choice to have children later is simply the inability to find a suitable partner who is willing to commit and wanting to have children at the same time.

This is an important point because there seems to be prime focus on a woman’s fertility and the choices she makes to have children later in life – but it’s not always entirely up to her. Often the matter of personal choice is swamped with many other considerations that are out of one’s control.

It is well known that sperm are far less sensitive to aging than a woman’s eggs – and there in itself lies one major consideration. Men do not have the time pressures that women do and this discrepancy has seen many a relationship end. The sound of the biological clock can indeed crack an otherwise perfect union.

If a man is not ready to have children when his partner is, then why should he be forced to bend to her limitations? I’ll leave you to answer that for yourself.

So, men have the option to take their ageless sperm and live it up for another decade or two. Then, when it better suits them they may choose to procreate with a younger woman.

Please note that I state this as a matter of fact only. Men can make this choice and I do not hold it against them. My ex partners have not taken this path however, you only have to look around to see that this does happen. If the tables were turned I am sure we would see the same choices being made. It is simply an advantage that men have in choosing when to have children.

Finding the right person is another driving force behind advanced maternal age. Gone are the days when women feel like they have to settle for second best in order to appease the biological dong. That, in my opinion, is a good thing because I truly believe it is better to grow up in a single parent home than in an unhappy environment where parents do not love each other.

While there are many women in their mid thirties who have delayed motherhood, there also seems to be a young motherhood resurgence. Recent studies show an increase of mothers in their 20s. Possibly they are looking on at their peers who have missed the boat and jumping on that ship before it leaves the harbour? Maybe their partners are the ones who weren’t ready to have children with their peers 😉

No seriously, each to their own. Just consider that the timing for some women is not always a matter of personal choice. In fact, often it is not. It’s complicated.

A note on sperm quality in older men:

In contrast to women, who are born with all the eggs they will have in their lifetime, men have no sperm when they are born. Sperm production starts when they reach puberty. The average man makes about 250 million sperm a day and this continues unabated. There is no strong evidence that this production decreases significantly even in 80 year old men. However, all this production means that a man has to keep copying his DNA over and over to make the sperm and this leads to mutations. Imagine photocopy a page over and over from the copied product – it eventually loses its quality. For fathers over 40, the risk of having a child with a disease-causing mutation is similar to the risk the mother has for a child with Down Syndrome.

One Response to “Advanced Maternal Age and Ageless Sperm”

  1. Deborah December 6, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    It’s so interesting isn’t it….like I said to you just didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t have a child. Also ironic how most of us spend our late teens and twenties trying NOT to get pregnant….Oh the interesting journey of life! x x x

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