Let’s see . . . what do these male celebrities all have in common: Steve Martin, Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Larry King, Luciano Pavarotti, Rod Stewart, and Paul McCartney, to name but a few. Take a second to think about it.
OK, time’s up. Answer? They’ve all fathered children when they were in their 60s and their wives were often in their 30s. Of course, it is never EVER the reverse. Aside from the obvious double standard in our society, there is actually a biological reason.
Men are fertile from puberty until the day they die, whereas women are only fertile from puberty through menopause, and more realistically, their fertility decreases often a decade before menopause. Another major difference between male and female anatomy pertains to when the sex cells (or gametes) are developed. Girls are born with all the eggs they will ever have, so as the woman ages, so do her eggs. Finally, women’s eggs start to mature and be released at puberty, continuing to usually expel one egg per cycle until menopause. Boys, on the other hand, don’t develop sperm until adolescence, but then continually produce sperm every day for the rest of their lives!
The list below reflects the three major differences between male and female fertility.
Fertile from puberty until death.
Start producing sperm at puberty.
Fertile all the time, since sperm are produced on a daily basis.
Fertile from puberty until menopause.
Born with all the eggs they will ever have.
Fertile only a few days per cycle around ovulation.