Is It Too Late to Have a Baby for a 60-Year-Old Man?

There’s no maximum age that stops a man from being able to have a baby. You can become a father long into your older years, but there are risks.

Risks of Older Men Having a Baby

When you get older, your sperm quality isn’t as great as it used to be. This happens for a few reasons, like:

  • Your testicles become softer and smaller.
  • Your sperm becomes disfigured and slow.
  • The blood supply to your genitals gets lower.
  • You have lower testosterone levels.

For most men, these problems happen after the age of 50.

Like women who have children when they’re older, there are risks for men who have babies at an older age. 

Your baby might have higher odds of getting a genetic disorder. As you age, you’re more likely to have gene changes, or mutations, in your sperm. If you have a baby at an older age, you have higher chances of passing on a genetic disorder.

The baby’s risk for mental health or brain disorders may be higher. A father’s older age can cause schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or autism spectrum disorder.

The chances of having a premature baby may be higher. Some studies have shown that men who are 45 or older have a 14% chance of having a baby born early. Men who are 50 years or older have a 28% chance of their newborn baby staying in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Your baby’s mother has a higher risk of getting gestational diabetes. Your age can also affect the mother’s health during pregnancy. When you’re older, she has a higher chance of getting high blood sugar while pregnant (gestational diabetes) and greater odds of needing a C-section.

There’s a risk for low birth weight and problems at birth. Babies with older dads have higher chances of being born underweight. Low birth weight can cause other health problems later in life. Your baby also has a higher risk of having seizures and needing to be put on oxygen.

You might have trouble having a baby. As you age, you can have trouble with infertility. This is usually because your sperm quality isn’t great. You might have less sperm, or the sperm may have trouble moving fast enough to fertilize the egg.

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Pros and Cons of Having a Baby at 60 Years Old

Late fatherhood is happening more often these days. Both men and women are deciding to have babies later in life for different reasons. There are benefits to these decisions. You might:

  • Be more established in your career
  • Be finished with school
  • Have money saved and student loans paid off
  • Have good housing
  • Have a job with family benefits or flexible hours

On the other hand, there are reasons to think twice about having a baby when you’re older:

Raising kids is expensive. Not everyone can afford to have a baby later in life, and the extra cost of raising kids might be stressful. You may find that planning for retirement and your child’s college tuition at the same time is hard.

Infertility is expensive. Trouble having a baby is more common when you’re older. If you need medical help to conceive, it can also be expensive.

You’ll need to adjust to a busy household. While having a new baby is hard at any age, adjusting to the changes of newborns and young kids later in life can be challenging.

You may need to work longer. Having a baby when you’re older might change your retirement plans.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If you’re planning to have a baby when you’re 60 or older, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your doctor. They can test your health and help you make the best decision.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 18, 2021

Sources

SOURCES:

BMJ: “Association of paternal age with perinatal outcomes between 2007 and 2016 in the United States: population based cohort study.”

Journal of Epidemiology Community Health: “Advanced paternal age: How old is too old?”

Reproductive Facts: “Age and Fertility (booklet).”

Reviews in Urology: “Fertility and the Aging Male.”

Stanford Medicine: “Older fathers associated with increased birth risks.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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