The Conversation

Your weekly dose of evidence

Men are often spared the intrusive and personal advice not to “leave it too long” before having kids. But a study published this week suggests age should be on their radar when planning a family. The researchers analysed data from 40 million births in the United States and found infants from dads aged 45 or over were more likely to be born prematurely, to have a low birthweight or to require intensive care after delivery. But this doesn’t mean older men shouldn’t become fathers, writes Sarah Robertson.

Fron Jackson-Webb

Deputy Editor/Senior Health + Medicine Editor

It’s not just women who need to consider their age when planning a family. rawpixel

Tick-tock – for healthy mums and kids, dad’s age counts

Sarah Robertson, University of Adelaide

A new study shows that as the father’s age increases, so too the chances of the baby being born prematurely, having a low birth weight, or requiring medical intervention after delivery.

There are several health benefits associated with losing excess pregnancy weight. From

Forget bouncing back, balance is the healthiest way to manage weight post-pregnancy

Clare Collins, University of Newcastle; Jenna Hollis, University of Newcastle; Lisa Vincze, Griffith University; Siân Robinson, University of Southampton

Your body has been changing over nine months, so naturally it will take a little while to change back. But there are some things you can do to achieve a healthy weight after having a baby.

Rubella has been eliminated in Australia, but it still exists in other countries. From

Australia has eliminated rubella – but that doesn’t mean it can’t come back

Heather Gidding, University of Sydney; Aditi Dey, University of Sydney; Kristine Macartney, University of Sydney

Thanks to successful vaccination programs, Australia has just been declared free of rubella. Continued vigilance is important to make sure it doesn't come back.

From the archives: male fertility

How does being overweight affect my fertility?

Karin Hammarberg, Monash University

Excess weight affects fertility in men and women - the good news is weight loss can reverse the negative effects.

The Handmaid’s Tale and counting sperm: are fertility rates actually declining?

Shaun Roman, University of Newcastle

The release of TV program The Handmaid's Tale and a study on male sperm numbers have left some worried about the future of human fertility.

Most men don’t realise age is a factor in their fertility too

Karin Hammarberg, Monash University; Sara Holton, Monash University

While most people might think age only affects female fertility, there is growing evidence sperm quality decreases as men age.

Monday’s medical myth: wearing tight undies will make you infertile

Robert McLachlan, Hudson Institute

Most men have a preference for boxers or briefs, but which are better when it comes to fertility? Many things can affect a man’s ability to make or transport sperm.

Expert answers to serious, weird and wacky questions

Both make you sneeze and give you a runny nose. Shutterstock/michaelheim

Health Check: how to tell the difference between hay fever and the common cold

Reena Ghildyal, University of Canberra; Cynthia Mathew, University of Canberra

You can tell the difference by the colour of your snot.

Human poo is a concoction made up mostly of water with a sprinkling of the solid stuff. from

Your poo is (mostly) alive. Here’s what’s in it

Vincent Ho, Western Sydney University

Around 75% of our faeces is made up of water. The other 25% is the good stuff, including bacteria, viruses and undigested food.

Curious Kids: Is there anything hotter than the Sun?

Brad Carter, University of Southern Queensland; Jake Clark, University of Southern Queensland

There are lots of places where it's much, much hotter than the Sun. And the amazing thing is that this heat also makes new atoms - tiny particles that have made their way long ago from stars to us.

Curious Kids: If a star explodes, will it destroy Earth?

Samuel Hinton, The University of Queensland

Are there stars other than the Sun that might explode soon close to us? Yes, there are! As long as by 'soon' we mean within a million years.

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