Guys: do you know what time is on your biological clock?
Hey guys. Hear that steady "tick, tick, tick" sound? Well, if you don't, maybe you ought to be listening more closely, because it turns out that the whole "biological clock" thing isn't just for women any more. More and more studies are discovering that a man's fertility is just as likely to come with an expiration date as a woman's.
For years, it was assumed that because men constantly produce sperm every 90 days for as long as they live, age didn't play a factor in fertility. But that might not be the case after all. A recent study in France found that a father's age could have as much of an impact on the rate of pregnancy and miscarriage as a mother's age. In fact, the older either potential parent was, the lower the odds of conception and the higher the odds of miscarriage.
Another study found that only eight percent of couples where the would-be father was younger than 25 would take longer than a year to conceive. But when the father was over 35, that number jumped to 15 percent taking over a year to conceive.
Honestly, I don't know why this info would come as such a shock to everyone. It's well known that men are most fertile when they're around 24 years old. It's all downhill from there. Age leads to a drop in testosterone level, which can lower the number and viability of their sperm.
Here's what I did find interesting
Older men are also at an increased risk of having children with birth defects such as Down syndrome. The children of older fathers also have higher rates of autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Men are increasingly found to be the "problem" in as many as half of all infertility cases due problems like low sperm count due to factors other than age.
The older you are when you have a child, the more likely you are to have a kid with psychological problems. Men who have kids when they're 55 or older are 37 percent more likely to have children who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder at some point in life.
Many researchers believe the risk factors for psychological disorders in children (like autism and schizophrenia) have more to do with genetics than age. Men's sperm can be affected by DNA mutations that come with age, which has a negative impact on the quality of the sperm being produced.
I'm sure a lot of women reading this are thinking, "Welcome to the party, pal." Many are probably well fed up with years of hearing the old saw about the woman hearing the tick of the biological clock in their 30s. It turns out, we're all on the same fertility clock, more or less. And it's time for men to start hearing the tick, too.
FDA adds more bureaucrats
What's the best way to fix a bloated bureaucracy? Well, the truly bureaucratic solution would be to add - what else? - more bureaucrats! And that's exactly what the FDA did recently, tacking on 1,300 hundred new employees in the hope that it's going to help the federal agency better do its job.
Color me unimpressed. While the FDA repeatedly complains that understaffing is the root cause of many of its woes (you'll recall the tainted pharmaceutical ingredients from the factory in China that wasn't inspected due to lack of FDA agents). Personally, I think the FDA is merely getting more people to help make the same mistakes over and over again. And that's not going to do anyone any good at all.
It's hoped that these medical and scientific people will help the agency salvage its damaged reputation. But according to the FDA senior manager in charge of the recruitment drive, "We have had some people who left to go into industry and ended up wanting to come back. The revolving door swings this way every once in a while." Translation: they're funneling old-line FDA apparatchiks who couldn't cut it in the private sector back to their jobs at the FDA!
Trust me: it'll be business as usual at the FDA.