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Should men freeze their sperm at 18?

Dr. Kevin Smith, from Abertay University in Dundee, considers men around 18 should freeze their sperm in order to use it later in life because of the risks of being an “older father”.

Sperm loses quality with age, increasing the risk of autism, schizophrenia and other disorders. That's why Dr. Smith says sperm-banking should “become the norm”. He added: “it's time we took seriously the issue of paternal age and its effect on the next generation of children. If demographic trends towards later fatherhood continue, this will likely lead to more children suffering from genetic disorders”.

According to Dr. Smith, although there was no fixed age on becoming a father, people in their 40s might want to use their frozen sperm banked at the age of 18, time when it would be in the best conditions. Now, the average age of fatherhood in England and Wales is 33, when in the early 1990s was 31.

The British Fertility Society through his chairman, Professor Adam Balen, expressed that such a move would "provide a very artificial approach to procreation and a false sense of security as the technology does not guarantee a baby".

Sheena Lewis, the chair of the British Andrology Society, said: "Men should think about their families much earlier in their lives. We need to get the message across that it's really a much better idea for men as well as women to have their children in their 20s and 30s".

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