With all the advancements in fertility treatments, it’s not uncommon to hear about young women freezing their eggs for later use. Whether they’re not ready to settle down or just haven’t found the right partner, many women think it’s smart to have the assurance that their healthy eggs are there for them if needed. But what about young men? Should they be storing their sperm if they reach 30 and still no family?
CNN reports about a small but growing trend of young men freezing and storing sperm for later use when they just aren’t ready to settle down or haven’t found Mrs. Right yet. William Hudson, who was once a producer for CNN, made the decision to bank his sperm at the age of 28 after working on a story about children of older fathers with mental illness. Hudson explains, “I reported on a big study that came out in 2014, and I thought a lot about it, and a few months later, I went and banked my own sperm.” Hudson also explains his reasoning, “I'm not getting any younger. I banked my sperm because I wanted to have the option of using younger sperm later in life.”
The story Hudson worked on was about a Swedish study that suggests children of men ages 45 and older are 3 times more likely to be on the autism spectrum, 13 times more likely to have ADHD and a whopping 25 times more likely to have bipolar disorder than kids of dads who were between 20 and 24 when conceived.
And Hudson later learned there’s even more research out there linking an increase of mental health disorders with children of older fathers. After leaving CNN for Yale Law School he wrote an award-winning article about the importance of sperm storage for Food and Drug Law Journal. In the article Hudson documents a myriad research linking older sperm to increased health risks like schizophrenia, autism, and birth defects. The reason believed for these increased health risks are that sperm can develop genetic mutations as they get older and the sperm of a 20 year old may pass on 25 mutations to offspring but the sperm of a 40 year old passes on 65 mutations.
So for all of these reasons Hudson, along with a small but growing group of a few dozen men, pay around $450 a year to have their younger sperm waiting for them whenever they do find the right woman and decide to start a family. Whether or not Hudson will ever use what he calls his “insurance policy” is still undecided, he explains that he will one day make that decision with his partner when the time comes.
What do you think of the small but growing trend of men banking their sperm for later use?
Do you think more young men should consider an “insurance policy” like this?