Risks of advanced paternal age in pregnancy
When one is trying to conceive a baby, there are a lot of factors that matters. The vital thing is the age of the women and men who are planning for a baby.
A woman’s age is very vital because there is a certain age till which there are lesser chances of having any complications while giving birth to a baby. After a certain age there is a tendency of having more complications physically to have a baby. But still late pregnancies have become a very common thing these days and due to medical advancements most women have healthy deliveries.
But it is not only the woman’s age that matters when it comes to giving birth to a baby. The age of the man also is a very important part of it. Many studies say that the paternal age effect on pregnancy is also very vital. The father’s age at the time of conception matters because sometimes it may pose some health risks for the baby.
Many researches have shown that if the paternal age is more than 40, then there might be some risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes and that may also risk the child’s health inside. Here are some risks that can occur.
- Pregnancy loss: Due to advanced paternal age there can be a high risk of pregnancy loss. It can happen within 20 weeks of pregnancy or it can also lead to still birth.
- Rare birth defects: This is another problem that one can face due to this. The paternal age (if it is too late) can lead to some birth defects in the baby like some development defects in heart, limbs or skull.
- Autism: There are many studies which show that there is a clear and direct link between the older paternal age and the increased frequency of autism and spectrum disorder.
- Schizophrenia: Studies suggest an older paternal age might increase the risk of the severe mental disorder schizophrenia and might be associated with earlier onset of schizophrenia symptoms.
- Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: Older paternal age can also be slightly associated with the risk of acute childhood leukaemia and some abnormal production of white cells.
Many researchers believe the increased risk of health conditions might be due to random genetic mutations in sperm that occur more commonly in older men than compared to the younger men. In spite of all these increase in risks, however, the overall risks mostly remain small if the sperm is associated with a woman whose age is less than 40 years.
But if both the parents are more than 40 years old then, they should consult a proper gynaecologist before planning a baby. This is because; advanced paternal age and genetic disorders can be quite a risk to the health of the baby and no parents want their babies to suffer. But taking help from a doctor means one will get proper guidance and then they can prepare themselves accordingly to welcome a new addition in their life.