Being a man is awesome. Peeing standing up, getting all the good roles in superhero movies, getting away with poor grooming: it’s all ace. And one of the ace-est things about manhood is that while women are lumbered with the old “biological clock”, ticking away and warning them time is running out to have kids while they still can, we men can go merrily on our way pretty much our whole lives without losing our fertility.
Except…uh oh, not so much. Because new research, published in the European menopause journal MATURITAS, suggests that in fact, men also have a biological clock, and our complacency in thinking we don’t have to worry about when we decide to start distributing our genes to the next generation is foolish indeed.
The study indicates that men who father children when over the age of 45 put their partner (whatever her age) at increased risk of antenatal complications and adverse birth outcomes, and increase the risk of the baby suffering cancer and psychological disorders. Gestational diabetes, premature birth and autism are among the various issues that an older father increases the possibility of.
What this means is, firstly, that men had better stop feeling so smug about their supposed ability to keep sowing their oats into old age without a care in the world, and secondly, that dudes who DO think they might want to father kids later in life should give some consideration to freezing some of their swimmers ahead of time.
We know, it’s kind of a bummer. But not everything about being a man can be awesome: just look it as an opportunity to show how responsible and mature you are!