Men holding off on starting a family commonly believe there is no rush. But men, like women, can wait too long, doctors warn. The term “biological clock” was originally geared toward women, but today, the term applies to both men and women, with men having just as many reasons to pay attention to their own biological clocks.

The male biological clock is ticking, too.

The most common misconception about male fertility is that when men age, nothing changes. In reality, male fertility does decline with age. Unlike women, who begin seeing a rapid decline in fertility around the age of 35, men typically experience a more gradual decline in their fertility. This is because, for men, infertility is the result of a decrease in testosterone and a lower quantity and quality of sperm. This decline typically begins in a man’s 40s or 50s.

In a study published by Fertility and Sterility, researchers interviewed nearly 2,000 women to find out how long it took them to conceive. Among women 35 and older, those whose male partners were 45 and older took five times longer than those whose partners were 25 and younger. The researchers also looked at what happens when young women (age 25 and under) have children with men 45 and older. The researchers found a fourfold increase in the time it took couples to conceive – meaning the man’s age was a factor independent of the woman’s age.

How common is male infertility?

Male infertility accounts for 40 to 50 percent of all infertility cases. A simple diagnostic test such as a semen analysis can identify any potential obstacles to achieving a pregnancy. If the results signal a problem, a urologist and fertility specialist can work together to design a custom treatment plan based on your age and your diagnosis.

While male factor infertility can happen at any age from many causes, there are often steps a man can take to proactively combat male infertility, such as eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. In addition, men should review medications or supplements they are taking with their physician to see if any may have an impact on sperm count or quality.

Have more questions regarding male fertility and the male biological clock? Contact The Fertility Preservation in Pittsburgh today.