Does the male biological clock matter to you?

“By the time a woman hits 30, nearly all of her ovarian eggs are gone for good, according a new study that says women who put off childbearing for too long could have difficulty ever conceiving,” according to a Good Morning America report.

Grim reports about the biological clock aren’t just for women any more.

New studies have found that men face fertility problems as they age too. Babies conceived by older fathers have a higher chance of having autism or schizophrenia. And some research suggests that a father’s habits and health affect their children and grandchildren’s DNA.

Today, we’ll talk about what the new research means for men and their plans for families.

We’d love to hear from some young men. What age do you plan to have a child and how are you planning your life around it? Also, would you drink less, smoke less, and be healthier if you knew it would make a difference in the health of the child you might eventually have?

And women, what do you think of the research?

Robert McCartney, in the Washington Post, expressed skepticism that the new revelations will change much:

I’ll believe the culture has changed for real when Hollywood makes a movie about a 35-year-old man desperate to get married because he’s worried his sperm quality is deteriorating.

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • Hans

    What’s more influential on the life of a child – the biological or social influences. Isn’t there research that shows older parents are more stable and are more able to provide for their children. Younger parents often struggle financially and have a higher divorce rate – What type of health concerns do those factors have on the child long term? how does all that play into this discussion…. I”m 34 now and was not in a position to have a child earlier in my life for logistical purposes (job, housing, and general lifestyle). I think that played a much larger role in my decision. If I would have seen this research at age 23.. I still would have done everything exactly the same.

  • Daniel Hennessy

    I say birth early, then feeze the kids.

  • Tim

    My parents were in there 30’s when I was born. Growing up they were older and supported me but were older and not as physical active and able or willing to join in new activity like skiing. The watched and encouraged me but did not join. So I wanted to have my kid when I was young we were married for 2 yrs and I was 20 when my son was born my daughter 2 yrs later. I worked so many hours that although I did join on somethings and was at all my kids games, I found that there is no best time to have kids. They are great anytime if you want and love them, which my parents thought me by example and I hope and think I was able to pass to my kids. Any age has its own problems but love is the only way to over come any object. Now we can enjoy our grand kid and our first great grand daughter although at 60 it is harder to enjoy the youthful energy of any length of time. There is great joy to be found in life and passing it on.

  • Tim

    Forgot to share 2 kids 1 foster child 8 grand kids one great grand daughter so far. Married 42 yrs, 8 more years for the honeymoon before we think we will settle into marriage but it may take longer. By then our youngest grand child will be out of high school. We hope by then to see more of the next generation from our older grand kids. Kids are great but grand kids are better. You never stop worrying but you gain perspective.

  • Elise Bender

    To me it seems to be common sense that the health of the male’s chromosomes is just as important as the health of the female’s. This topic relates to the previous discussion this morning about eating well. That too seems to be common sense in that “you are what you eat.” If you’re consuming primarily junk food over a period of time, of course your offspring could be affected. Setting limits for yourself is healthy not only for you but your children and in turn society.

    A while back there was another show about whether “women can have it all.” I feel that currently we can’t because our physical maturation, emotional maturation and education and job prep time are not in sync with the best time to have children. Plus societal norms are adding to the barriers. I am now in my mid-30’s and wish I had more energy for my young children. Had we been able to start a family earlier maybe I would feel different. I feel fortunate to be able to stay at home during their critical years of development. I know this is a sacrifice that will have ramifications for my future employment. This choice does limit us. But I feel it is best for our children. If this research changes the views of future parents, maybe the societal norms will change. Sacrifice for children will be rewarded. But this research points to the fact that setting limits and not “having it all” are necessary for the health of our offspring.

    I’m glad this research has come out. I hope that it spurs some serious discussion and changes to policy. Maybe it will even help to shatter the “glass ceiling” since men will feel more ownership in the health of the next generation. I believe it should be taught along with sex education. However, this is not a foreign idea to me, having grown up Catholic and being taught that my body is a temple and to treat it as such and that what I do as an individual can help or hurt the greater body or community.

  • Sara

    The upside of having kids when younger – you can enjoy your own time more later when you are done active parenting.

  • Tyler

    The discussion kind of leaned towards “if you don’t have children you are a bad person.”

    Not having children is not the worst thing.

  • Marco

    I am 66. I have a wonderful 4 year old child. I guess I beat the odds?