Freeze sperm at 18, bioethicist urges men
By James Gallagher
Health editor, BBC News website
25 June 2015
From the section Health
The sperm of all 18-year-olds should be frozen for use in later life because of the risks attached with being an older father, a UK bioethicist has argued.
Sperm becomes more prone to errors with age, increasing the risk of autism, schizophrenia and other disorders.
Dr Kevin Smith, from Abertay University in Dundee, says sperm banking on the NHS should “become the norm”.
The British Fertility Society said such a move would “provide a very artificial approach to procreation”.
It called for a greater focus in the UK on supporting young couples to have work and have children.
Men are having children later – the average age of fatherhood in England and Wales has increased from 31 in the early 1990s to 33 now.
But while it remains possible to have children well into old age, there are consequences.
Making his case in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Dr Smith said even small increases in the risk of disease could have a big effect when scaled up across a whole nation.
Dr Kevin Smith says sperm banks should “become the norm”
He told the BBC News website: “I think on a society-wide basis, we do need to worry about it – it is a very real and pronounced effect.
“It’s time we took seriously the issue of paternal age and its effect on the next generation of children.”
His solution is …read more
Source:: BBC UK