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A 24-year-old member asked:

My baby's father is over 40, will he be more prone to birth defects?

4 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 years experience
Slightly higher risk: There is a link between paternal age and some birth defects but the overall risk is low. The current scientific explanation is that dna changes occur more frequently in sperm as men ages. The risk is low and increases with the age of the man.
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Dermatology 57 years experience
Down syndrome more common in offspring of older parents, especially fathers. Can be diagnosed early in pregnancy and parents can decide to act or not.
Dec 26, 2014
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Rarely: The biological clock women face is not as harsh on males.The difference comes with how the sperm is generated vs the egg.New sperm come from stem cells & males can produce healthy sperm well into there 60's, while women are born with all the eggs they will ever have.The egg must survive the years of moms toxic exposures & remain good.Any bad sperm don't swim as well as the good ones.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
ACMG suggestions:: The american college of medical genetics says there is no standard definition of " advanced paternal age" & risks increase linearly as men age, rather than begin at age 40. They recommend prenatal counseling for couples & fetal ultrasound at 18 weeks, but add that fus will not necessarily show issues of interest. Some studies show increased risk of autistic disorders & single-gene mutations.
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 years experience
Not really : Paternal age of 40 is not link led to genetic abnormalities like maternal age. Maternal age increases risk above 35. For men the risk increases around age 70.

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Similar questions

A 40-year-old member asked:

How can I know if my baby will have birth defects or deformities?

3 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Amy Herold
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Ultrasound: Ultrasounds and genetic screening in pregnancy can identify many abnormalities before a baby is born. There are limitations to the screening though, neither test is capable of identifying every possible problem, but are good for picking up major problems.

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Last updated Sep 7, 2018

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