The population policy has been adjusted, and the previously hotly discussed "comprehensive opening of the second child" has become a fact. An online survey shows that young people aged 20-29 have the lowest willingness to have two children when it comes to whether they are willing to have a second child, while older groups (35-40 years old) have a stronger willingness to have a second child.
Is there a risk of older men having children?
Many people know that giving birth to older women will increase the risk of miscarriage, malformation, pregnancy diabetes and other problems. Does giving birth to older men also have risks?
In general, a normal sperm proportion of no less than 4% in semen is sufficient, but the number of abnormal sperm in older men's semen will increase.
Abnormal sperm refer to those sperm with abnormal morphology and immature sperm, and their "combat power" is much worse than that of normal sperm. Deformed sperm can mainly cause two types of problems:
Difficulty in conception: Some deformed sperm have poor motility and are difficult to conceive by combining with the egg;
Adverse pregnancy outcomes: Some abnormal sperm are genetic abnormalities that, once conceived, may lead to miscarriage or fetal malformations.
In short, as men age, the number of abnormal sperm increases, which not only makes conception more difficult, but also increases the risk of fetal malformations and miscarriage.
The effect of age on sperm
The reproductive age of males is relatively longer than that of females, with the golden age ranging from 25 to 35 years old. Men in this age group are most energetic and have the best sperm quality.
Since the age of 40, the testicular function of men has gradually declined, semen parameters (such as semen volume, sperm motility, sperm concentration and sperm morphology) and sperm function will also decline significantly, and fertility will also decline.
However, there are significant individual differences in the quality of male sperm, with some individuals in their 70s and 80s still having fertility, while others in their fifties may have very poor fertility.
The ruthless years will weaken human fertility, and the number of abnormal sperm in the semen of older men will also significantly increase, while the number of normally active sperm will decrease.
Simply put, male fertility tends to decrease with age.
The impact of lifestyle habits on sperm
In addition to age factors, many accumulated bad habits are also harming sperm.
1. Smoking and drinking
Many people know that smoking and drinking alcohol can damage sperm quality, but habits are "easy to develop but difficult to quit". Long term smoking and drinking not only reduce the quality of sperm, but also damage the spermatogenic function of the testes.
2. High temperature environment
Sperm is very sensitive to the temperature of the testicles. To produce sufficient quantity and quality of sperm, the temperature of the testicles needs to be 1-2 ℃ lower than normal body temperature. Some common life habits of some men, such as wearing tight underpants, often soaking in hot springs or sauna, will affect sperm motility.
3. Unhealthy fatty acids
Saturated fatty acids (commonly found in animal fats) and trans fatty acids (commonly found in processed foods) are unhealthy fatty acids that not only cause serious damage to the cardiovascular system, but also have a certain inhibitory effect on testosterone secretion by the testes.
Common foods such as fried foods, skewers, desserts, cream, milk tea, etc. all contain a lot of unhealthy fatty acids. Men who like these foods should be careful.
4. Overweight and obesity
The sperm quality of overweight and obese men is generally low, which will also increase the risk of hypertension and diabetes. These diseases will damage fragile sperm.
How should older men prepare for childbirth?
In terms of elderly childbirth, women still bear most of the reproductive risks, such as:
Previous cesarean section with increased risk of major bleeding;
The risk of pregnancy diabetes, pregnancy hypertension and other diseases increases;
The risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as fetal malformations and spontaneous miscarriage increases;
Increased risk of pelvic floor dysfunction diseases such as urinary incontinence and uterine prolapse in the future;
For older men, on the one hand, routine examinations are necessary, and on the other hand, improving lifestyle habits is essential.
If both the couple preparing to have a second child are elderly and their physical functions have decreased in all aspects, they should be more cautious when it comes to preparing for pregnancy.
Firstly, it is recommended that couples go to the hospital for fertility assessment. The main assessment content for males includes past medical history and current physical condition.
1. Routine physical examination before pregnancy preparation
The physical examination items mainly include heart, liver, kidney function, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. You can also check the semen routine to evaluate the quality of sperm.
The most commonly used test for evaluating sperm quality is routine semen analysis, and common normal indicators include:
Semen volume ≥ 1.5mL
Total sperm motility ≥ 40%
Forward motion force ≥ 32%
Sperm concentration ≥ 15 million/mL
Normal sperm percentage>4%
If the quality of sperm decreases, try to find out where the problem is, such as whether there are bad lifestyle habits, decreased sex hormone secretion, varicocele, urinary and reproductive system infections, etc.
2. Prepare for pregnancy
During pregnancy preparation, men need to quit smoking and alcohol, as well as stay away from "second-hand smoke"; It is best not to decorate in the near future; Stay away from radiation and chemical teratogenic substances; Exercise appropriately every day.
3. Use medication with caution
If medication is needed, a specialist should be consulted. For example, for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes, drugs that have little effect on sperm can be used during pregnancy preparation.
Whether to be born or not is a question
As age increases, the health risks of offspring born to older men, like older mothers, also increase.
Although older age is not a taboo for childbirth, it can bring many difficulties. When planning to conceive a second child, it is important to be both cautious and cautious.
Fertility is a sacred and great process of pregnancy, and before giving birth, in addition to considering physical factors, one should also consider what kind of growth environment can be provided for the child. In addition, parents must communicate well with their elders before preparing to have a second child, so that their children have a psychological preparation and balance their attention to the two children.