Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gender Equality

The October issue of Psychology Today includes an article on a man's shelf life. Harry Fisch, urologist and author of The Male Biological Clock, talks about fertility and how men's health can also affect the health of his offspring. Fisch is also the director of the Male Reproductive Center at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

While women have known for years how they are "at risk" for having fertility issues after age 35, it seems long overdue that someone introduces the idea that the age of the father might also plays a role in disorders and disabilities passed on to offspring.

Fisch points out that men in their 20s are in their prime reproductive years while their testosterone levels start to decline at age 30. Men who are 35 or older are twice as likely to be infertile as men under age 25.

The author is not suggesting that men freeze their sperm or have children at a younger age, but he does say that by staying healthy, men can increase the likelihood of producing healthy sperm.

Here are a few suggestions he does offer:
  • Protect your heart
  • Stay active
  • Watch your weight
  • Take antioxidants
  • Don't smoke, drink to excess, or abuse drugs
  • Avoid hot baths, Jacuzzis, and hot tubs
  • Keep laptops on the desk (not on your lap)
  • See a urologist (if you are over 40, have toxic exposure or have tried to conceive for a year)
  • Have varicoceles removed
These words of advice sound - for the most part - fairly standard as far as trying to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. As I mentioned earlier, the fact that this is a relatively new discussion amongst health professionals seems long overdue. But, it is now official: Women and men can both equally stress out about the fact that they are held responsible for passing on healthy (or unhealthy) genes to their unborn children.

No comments: