Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Male Biological Clock: Speaking of Biological Clocks

Marfan Syndrome
The Male Biological Clock: Speaking of Biological Clocks - http://themalebiologicalclock....
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... medical conditions: The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your kid will be affected by schizophrenia, dwarfism, bipolar disorder, autism, Marfan syndrome, certain childhood cancers, or even, later in life, Alzheimer's. ...


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Speaking of Biological Clocks

Speaking of Biological Clocks
Women aren’t the only ones who should pay attention to their biological clocks…

While men can still have kids at 50, it turns out there are increased health and psychological risks to the child:

Is Your Sperm Too Old?

Are you still bearing healthy fruit? Turns out that it’s not just women who have a biological clock—your sperm may be going to seed a lot faster than you think.

By Kevin Conley,
Photographs by Christian Weber

While you’ve never been against the idea of a serious relationship, you are in no particular rush to become a schlub. The attendant trappings of new fatherhood—the preschool viewings, the sleepless nights, the humiliation of carrying a diaper bag—aren’t exactly calling out to you the way, say, another night slinging Pisco sours would. The ever-intensifying din of the proverbial biological clock? That’s for the opposite sex to worry about—you know, like periods, frizz, and whether Mr. Big will dump Carrie in the Sex and the City sequel. As far as you know, your little swim team of DNA carriers will be competing at Olympic level into Letterman age. So what’s the rush?

“I always thought my biological clock was the 36 hours I had left after I took my Cialis pill,” says Zack, a 30-year-old producer in Los Angeles. “That’s the only clock I’ve ever felt ticking.” Turns out, Zack might want to consider the unsung glories of fatherhood.

According to a study released last March in the Public Library of Science Medicine, children born to fathers who were 20 scored an average of 2 points higher on an IQ test than children born to 50-year-old fathers. And that’s not all. Recent studies from Israel, California, and Sweden have connected “late paternal age” with any number of serious medical conditions: The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your kid will be affected by schizophrenia, dwarfism, bipolar disorder, autism, Marfan syndrome, certain childhood cancers, or even, later in life, Alzheimer’s. In some cases, the risk factors skyrocket. A 2005 study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, found a fourfold rise in Down syndrome among babies born to men 50 and older. Worse still, those risk factors aren’t limited to your tweed-sporting years: Statistically, “late paternal age” starts at 30, as in Zack’s age. A 2006 study conducted by Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that fathers in their thirties have children with about 1.5 times the risk of developing autism compared with fathers in their teens and twenties. That factor jumps to five times for dads in their forties. The cherry on the cake? The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that sperm banks do not accept specimens from men over 40.

“The biological clock for men and women is really the same,” says Dr. Dolores Malaspina of Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City and New York University, who conducted one of the first studies. “It’s just that men can keep having babies.”

The biology behind this isn’t hard to grasp: Starting in puberty, spermatogonia, the master copies for sperm production, replicate themselves every couple of weeks. After 300 to 500 copies—somewhere in your thirties—a meaningful number of small copy errors, or point mutations, start to emerge, which accumulate over time.

Yet, despite the alarming new science, most men greet parenthood with a sense of urgency that’s more in line with Zack’s than Angelina Jolie’s. The reason is simple: While women are inculcated with the risks of late-age motherhood in sixth-grade sex ed, men remain blissfully ignorant. Since the recent studies have been published, the bad news still doesn’t seem to be making it to the doctor’s office. Scott, a 32-year-old schoolteacher from Babylon, New York, decided to start a family when he was Zack’s age, strictly because he wanted to raise his child while he was young. “For me the doctors were like, ‘Hey, this is going to be good. You’re still active,’” Scott says. “Nobody ever told me about the medical risks of being an older dad.”

That’s because men don’t usually get this news flash until they’re looking through a microscope at a batch of fugly sperm with no sense of direction. Swain, a 37-year-old IT professional in Dallas, wishes he had heard sooner. “Who cares if the baby is born with six fingers we can’t get that far,” he says. “I’d be thrilled to have that problem.” His wife is four years younger than he is, and they decided to wait. “What I did was let her clock be the one in control,” Swain says. “I would have been happy having kids five, six years ago, but she just wasn’t ready. The female clock seems to dominate the conversation.”

But don’t expect sweeping social change anytime soon. “Tell a man he’s got a chance of having kids with genetic abnormalities, and it’s like he’s going through the stages of the acceptance of death,” says Dr. Harry Fisch, a professor of urology and the author of The Male Biological Clock. “They’ll say, ‘I’m losing my manliness, my sexual ability.’ To them it all comes under the same umbrella.”

The good news is that no one, not even Malaspina, is suggesting that older men eschew the joys of fatherhood. But if you’re a younger guy who hasn’t thought twice about postponing it, be forewarned: The female of the species is about to get her just rewards. That bell tolling? It’s for you.


Oh my goodness! Late paternal age starts at 30? I think most men don’t even consider babies until then..


Friday, March 26, 2010

Tick Tock or When Your Biologic Clock Slows Down


Archive for the ‘male infertility’ Category
Tick Tock or When Your Biologic Clock Slows Down
March 10, 2010
When the phrase “biologic clock” is mentioned, most think this is in reference to women who experience a loss of hormone production at the time of menopause. But men also have a clock that starts to slow down around age 35. It is at this time that men experience decreasing hormone production, decrease in fertility potential, as well as an increase risk of genetic problems in children born to men who are older.

The theory that men go through a change in life, similar to what women experience, could be taking hold. We know for certain that the cause of the slowing of the biologic clock in women is due to a decrease in the production of estrogen. If less estrogen in women leads to the end of menstruation, moodiness, hot flashes, loss of sexual interest and osteoporosis, couldn’t male versions of these symptoms be caused by less testosterone?

How common is male hormone deficiency? Currently in the U.S., at least 6 to 10 million men suffer from the effects of extremely low testosterone levels in their bloodstream. Sadly, only 1 out of 6 of these men will ever receive treatment to resolve this problem.

Infertility and aging

It has been noted that more men, and women, are deferring parenting until they are older, finished their education, and are more financially stable. As a result the number of children born to fathers older than 35 years has increased considerably in the past few decades. This creates a problem as there is a decrease in fertility in men with increasing age. Since it takes longer to achieve a pregnancy in older men, they should be counseled and may consider starting their family sooner before their clock completely winds down.

Since there is evidence of the existence of a male “biological clock,” the likelihood of taking more than a year to conceive doubles when the man is over 35. The implication is that a man’s age should be another factor that is taken into account when looking at the chances of conception in couples who are having difficulty conceiving.

In addition, as men age, the genetic quality of their sperm declines significantly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of babies born to parents older than age 35 more than doubled from 1970 to 1999, from 6 percent to 13 percent. This trend has led to the rise in the rates of infertility in the past decade, and to increased miscarriage rates and the possibility of a baby born with Down Syndrome (in addition to other genetic abnormalities).

When testosterone levels drop

In women, menopause generally marks the end of youth, hence the idea of a “mid-life crisis.” Some women get hot flashes, are moody, irritable and/or depressed. Male menopause, or andropause, is not as clearly defined for men as it is for women. There probably is a syndrome of testosterone deficiency in aging men, and that testosterone deficiency is manifested by a diminished sexual drive, difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection, lack of energy, even irritability and grumpiness. There are even changes in a man’s height, caused by bone loss and osteoporosis.

If a man is experiencing any of the symptoms of testosterone deficiency, they need to see their physician and undergo an evaluation which includes a blood test to measure the testosterone level. Not all male mid-life crises are a result of testosterone deficiency. First, the doctor must be sure that the symptoms are not due to depression. Many of the issues in testosterone levels could be confused with the effects of depression. If you’ve got symptoms that may be suspicious, the first thing is to have a thorough physical and laboratory work and make sure you rule out other medical conditions such as diabetes, which also affect testosterone levels. Treat those conditions first, before you consider looking at testosterone.

There is also a useful questionnaire, ADAM-Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male, that is helpful for men to identify testosterone deficiency.

The ADAM questionnaire asks you to check for the following symptoms:

1.Decrease in sex drive
1.Lack of energy
1.Decrease in strength and/or endurance
1.Lost height
1.Decreased “enjoyment of life”
1.Sad and/or grumpy feelings
1.Erections less strong
1.Deterioration in sports ability
1.Falling asleep after dinner
1.Decreased work performance
Men experiencing Loss of morning erections depression, tiredness, memory loss, decreased muscle mass and increased weight, more fragile bones, or a diminished sex drive might be candidates for testosterone replacement therapy. Treatment of testosterone deficiency is easily accomplished with injections of testosterone, patches placed on the skin that transmit the medication from the skin to the blood stream, or topical gels applied to the upper arm or lower abdomen can quickly restore a man’s libido and sex drive.

So if you are over 35 and are feeling less than your best, you should talk with your doctor about your symptoms. A complete medical examination that includes laboratory tests can help show whether testosterone supplements might help you feel better. If treatment is suggested, then I encourage men to try it for a period of a few months while keeping track of the changes. If low testosterone is the cause of their symptoms, men will not have to wait long to see the effects of treatment. Bottom line…men, you may not be able to turn back the clock of time but you certainly can reset your biologic clock with hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. Neil Baum is a urologist at Touro Infirmary. For more information, contact Dr. Neil Baum at (504) 891-8454 or go to his Website,


Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:11 AM CST : Why do most women want to date men older than them?
Older men five times more likely to father children with birth defects
Last updated at 8:45 AM on 27th October 2009
It is not just women who need to keep an eye on the biological clock when it comes to having children.
Older men are up to five times more likely to father children with birth defects, according to some studies.
Experts claim that after 35, the risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down's Syndrome increases in proportion with the father's age.
Men are being warned not to have children too late in life
Children born to older fathers also appear to run an increased risk of autism, say researchers.
The problem is caused by mutations in cells which increase in men and women as they age and can cause congenital malformations.
A study of more than 70,000 births using records in Denmark of mothers under 29 and men of any age found the risk of a number of syndromes went up with increasing paternal age.
A 45-year old man is almost three times more likely to father a Down's child than a man under 30, while for men over 50 the risk is almost fivefold.
The risk of having a child with a cleft lip doubles for a man aged over 50.
The results show the risk of some congenital conditions starts to rise when the father is between 35 and 40.
French research suggested over-40s are three times more likely than younger men to father a baby with Down's.
Miscarriages and stillbirths increase with advancing age of the father, which suggests rates of genetic damage could be even higher but many pregnancies do not progress.
Studies have shown that men's fertility declines with age - in much the same way as women have less chance of conceiving as they get older.
Older men's sperm is also less likely to undergo a self-destruct mechanism called apoptosis, which is meant to get rid of damaged cells.
It might not be only chronological age which affects sperm quality, but also the environmental damage that comes with age.
The organs involved in sperm production can be affected by smoking, chemicals, sunlight and lifestyle.

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