LONE TREE- A man’s biological clock is ticking, although a little differently from a woman’s.
“I think it’s important for men to be aware of this, and we’re working on research tools to help identify which men after 45 have risks with their sperm,” Dr. WIlliam Schoolcraft said.
Schoolcraft founded the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in Colorado. Over the last 25 years, CCRM has had high success rate of women who go through in-vitro fertilization in order to have a child.
About 10 years ago, CCRM also set up The National Foundation for Fertility Research which is also housed in the Lone Tree offices.
Recently, researchers have worked with male, 18-month-old mice to learn more about sperm as it ages. That age correlates in age to a 50-year-old man.
“We know men father pregnancies in their 50s, 60s and 70s which doesn’t happen with women,” Dr. William Schoolcraft said. “But as a man ages, the sperm can have spontaneous chromosomal mutations that can lead to issues with the children.”
Schoolcraft refers to previous medical studies that show a higher rate of children with autism and mental issues whose fathers are older.
The research is looking into what’s going wrong in the DNA of older sperm.
“Possible someday, we could even have a test to pick individual sperm from men that don’t have any problem,” Dr. Schoolcraft said. “That would be the goal. You could be very selective of picking a good sperm to inject into an egg that is better than the sperm right next to it.”
Schoolcraft says there is no specific age when the quality of the DNA starts to falter. He says the increase in chromosomal problems is gradual.
“That’s the exciting part of this research,” Schoolcraft said. “We’re looking to identify markers for when sperm are a problem and when men have to be more aware.”
For more information on the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, visit: https://www.colocrm.com.
Author: Kyle Dyer
Source: 9 News