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Considering Becoming a Dad after 50? 5 Risks

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 02-11-2007

While the prospect of becoming a dad at 50 can be as exciting as at 30, it can have its share of complications or risks.

According to researchers at the University of California, sperm count decreases with age and sperm tends to get sluggish and lose their ability to approach an egg. Other research in the UK and the US has found that sperm quality can deteriorate as men get older. The DNA may start to unravel and the sperm may lose its ability to fertilize an egg. Even if fertilized, the embryo may fail to implant in the womb or the woman may miscarry. According to the Fertility Society of Australia, one in six older dads has trouble getting his wife to conceive.

Several genetic conditions also have been linked to older dads, such as schizophrenia and achondroplasia dwarfism. Studies show that men in their 40s run a five times greater risk of fathering children with autism, and men in their 50s face more than nine times the risk. According to Dr Natalia Gavrilova from the University of Chicago’s Centre on Ageing, what is more worrying is that new research has found that paternal parental age can affect the lifespan of daughters.

One research, published in the journal, Epidemiology, has found that the babies of older dads tend to be less robust immediately after birth compared to those fathered by younger men. The journal also reports that new fathers in their 40s and 50s are slightly more likely to have an infant with a low Apgar score than fathers in their 20s.

Apart from risking birth related complications, older dads need to be aware of the fact that by the time their kids are ready to play football, they might not even be in a position to accompany them to a game. They might lack the physical stamina to do many of the things that younger dads do with their kids.

If older dads have built a strong financial base in their younger days, they wouldn’t need to worry about saving for college. However, they would need to worry if they are depending on their social security to provide for them in their old age.

Older dads need to be aware of the fact that there is a greater possibility, after age 50, of developing health related complications, even leading to premature death. They, therefore, need to ensure that their kids will be taken care of even after they are gone.

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