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Arguing that men have age-related fertility issues as relevant as those of women, a guide to countering a man's biological clock discusses the links between older fathers and birth defects, the effects of age-related testosterone reduction, and the controversy regarding male menopause. 40,000 first printing.
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Part fertility guide, part owner's manual to the male reproductive system, The Male Biological Clock attempts to ditch some of the numerous existing myths about men's roles in pregnancy while introducing up-to-date medical research on hormones and health. In modern culture, the words "male" and "biological clock" aren't typically seen together, but Dr. Harry Fisch has news: after the age of 35, men have increased rates of infertility, can contribute to the likelihood of a miscarriage, and are more likely to father a child with Down syndrome.
Blunt and informative, the book starts off with a basic introduction to male anatomy, and goes into greater detail on the subject of testosterone. A number of simple graphs and charts are included, as well as detailed weighing of pros and cons of a number of currently available medical treatments for a wide variety of issues. Erectile dysfunction gets a short chapter to itself, which is mainly a discussion of how to get the most out of prescription drugs--a later section on sexual health provides less dramatic suggestions, such as proper diet, moderate exercise, and avoiding anabolic steroid treatments. The rest of the guide focuses on correcting male infertility, as well as addressing (if briefly) the emotional side of sexual and fertility problems. In every chapter, a few patient stories highlight individual topics; these do a fine job of personalizing health problems and limiting the amount of straight medical jargon.
Fisch's gently positive spin somewhat masks the serious point he's making: men need to take care of their bodies, sooner rather than later. While this book focuses more on solving existing problems than on preventing the problem in the first place, its balance of general information and specific suggestions makes it an excellent reference for men of all ages. --Jill LightnerFrom Publishers Weekly:
Infertility is big business in America, and in 40 percent of infertile couples, the problem lies with the man. Yet, women are usually the focus for treatment. And, at the same time, male sexual dysfunction makes drug companies rich. What’s going on? In this compelling volume, Fisch, the director of the Male Reproductive Center at Columbia University, takes on these unsettling contradictions and presents new research that upends the conventional wisdom about infertility and male sexuality. He questions standard procedures such as in vitro fertilization, claiming there is "an epidemic of male infertility that is going largely unnoticed. Most couples never realize the true dimension of their problem and the often simple steps they could take to remedy the male side of the equation." The in vitro procedure, which is publicized by the media and promoted by clinics, is expensive, often unsuccessful, difficult for women and ignores the man’s possible problems. Fisch focuses instead on studying and correcting men’s fertility issues. A researcher and surgeon, Fisch reveals that new studies show that men, like women, have a biological clock. Men over 35 have half the chance of fathering a child that men under 30 have. Beyond aging, many things factor into male infertility and sexual dysfunction: decreasing testosterone levels, alcoholism, abdominal fat, diabetes, urinary and prostate infections, injury, undiagnosed defects and more. Yet, too frequently, doctors do not examine their male patients thoroughly enough to pinpoint infertility and other sexual health problems, many of which can be fixed easily. An excellent resource for couples struggling to have children, Fisch’s volume speaks directly and honestly to men who want to slow down their biological clock.
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