Older Baby Dads

Preconception planning cannot detect all abnormalities. New mutations in sperm can occur that would not be detected by family history or specialized testing. Dads, like moms, can pass on a chromosome defect to their children. In moms the risk of chromosomal problems increases for each year she ages. Although the risk of fathering downs syndrome or other chromosomal problems is not increased as dads age, the way it is for moms, there are risks to babies born of men of advanced parental age. Advanced paternal ages is designated at 45, and these dads are more likely to father children with birth defects. Compared to younger men, the risk of a older dad having a baby with a new dominant gene mutation increases 7 times. In fact there is a new recommendation for pregnant moms with baby dads over the age of 45 to have a detailed ultrasound examination at 18 to 20 weeks gestation because skeletal disorders are more commonly found. Also older baby dates are several times more likely to have a baby with a heart defect. So special detailed ultrasounds of the baby's heart, called fetal echocardiogram, are also recommended by some experts, for dads fathering babies. So when you are asking about the risks of a pregnancy as you age, be sure and tell your gyno how od the dad is too!

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