Some men and women say that it hit them like a ton of bricks. They were never prepared to feel such a need, such an all-encompassing overwhelming primal urge for children.
For many, it’s something you never really think about while you are young – you might have a vague plan to have them “sometime in the future”. And it is important to have the discussion with your partner about your expectations for kids early on.
While most of us have been exposed to media attention surrounding the risks of leaving it too late, it’s actually surprising to find out that 9 per cent of healthy couples of reproductive age experience fertility problems.
The causes are variable and equally attributed one-third of the time to the female, one-third of the time to the male, and one-third to unidentifiable reasons or to both partners.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Fertility Coalition. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
The problem is the many myths surrounding pregnancy and fertility – there is so much information out there and yet we still know so little. Men know less than women about what affects a couple’s chances of having a healthy child.
Age is the single biggest factor affecting a woman’s chances of having a child but research has shown that many men don’t know the age at which women’s fertility starts to decline.
Obviously, when it comes to having children, men need to be on board. They’re going to be just as heartbroken if their desire to be a parent is thwarted, or have to go through the expensive and emotionally draining experience of IVF. And men deserve to know how ageing affects their sperm and potentially, their child’s health too.
Here are seven things most men don’t know about fertility.
1. The age fertility starts to decline.
With the plethora of Hollywood stars that fall pregnant after they turned 40, most men wouldn’t be alone in thinking it is easy to have a baby at that age. But actually a woman’s fertility starts to decline in her early 30s, speeding up after 35. A 30-year-old woman (who’s trying to get pregnant) has about a 20 per cent chance of conceiving in any given month. By the time she is 40 that chance is down to 5 per cent. Ignore Hollywood. Go with the facts!
2. Mental health concerns.
Are you aware that a man’s age at fatherhood can affect his child’s mental health? Children of older fathers are at an increased risk of schizophrenia and other mental health disorders, autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation. Children fathered by men over 40 are five times more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder as children fathered by men under 30. Be aware, though, that the absolute risk is still small.