This is one of the most interesting questions I have ever come in contact with. Men are more fertile than women, in terms of time spent in fertile years, but why is it that men are able to conceive children well into their 70s and women lose the ability to conceive in their 50s (with reduced fertility starting between the ages of 35 and 40)? The answer is both simple and complicated.
Male Fertility Versus Female Fertility
The human body is more than 1,000 years old, in terms of genetics. Recent developments and western societies are extremely new and the genetic code is still changing to adapt to how we live today. Not so long ago, men were responsible for pushing the development of the human race. It was common for men to have more than one partner and conceive children with multiple women. More children meant the man was more fertile and thus, more manly. Women, on the other hand, needed to take care of the home, farm and all those children – so females were fertile less time than men. New wives would come into the picture and the older wives would fade away and take on different roles in the tribe.
Men were also the hunters and gatherers. They lived dangerous lives, so there could be fewer men in the tribe than women. Men needed to be fertile longer than women to ensure procreation continued until the next set of boys became men. Males were considered men at an older age than girls were considered women as well – adding another dimension to the history of longer fertility times for men.
Today, men and women tend to be the same age when they marry, though some couples choose to ignore societal norms. Men remain fertile longer, but so do women. There are cases of women naturally conceiving well into their 50s and some in their 60s, though these cases are the exception to the rule.