Tag Archives: older mums

A Perfect Response To Controversy

Yet again another media uproar about older mothers, this time the finger pointed at mothers over 50, and how they are supposedly placing pressure on the health system, all 154 of them (the actual number of women who gave birth in their fifth decade in 2012). Honestly, aren’t there more important issues to report, like the the amount of alcohol or tobacco or other drug related illnesses? Surely these place a heavier burden upon the NHS?

When I see these stories in the press, my reaction is to ignore them; they are negative, and quite frankly misogynistic of their blaming of women. No one is disputing the facts or the very real risks of later motherhood, but where are all the features on late paternity? Later fatherhood comes with risk too (increased risk of autism and schizophrenia), and yet their fecundity is celebrated rather than demeaned by journalists who should know better.

What I would like to see is an article that acknowledges the fact that society has changed, that women are having babies at an older age for a variety of personal reasons, and that this isn’t going to change regardless of scaremongering reports, and anyway, older women aren’t stupid, we are all quite well aware of the risks. Older motherhood, and the many advantages that come with this (emotional maturity, confidence, wisdom, financial stability) should be celebrated, not damned.

Anyway, I digress, the point of this post was to let you know that I came across a wonderful response to the recent media hysterics by Ellie Stoneley (you can read her story on Older Mum) who wrote a wonderful, uplifting article in the Huffington Post. She was approached by a broadsheet that surprise, surprise, wasn’t interested in her good news story…. I think her piece describes a far more balanced and real view on how she experienced birth and motherhood at a later age, which is basically the same as any mother of any age might experience. So can we get over the whole older mother thing now purlease?

Fertility at 40

In the last 40 years, fertility has changed tremendously. Scientific advancements such as IVF treatment have made it possible for women to freeze their eggs, receive donor eggs and give birth later in life.

Whether you’ve held off from having children due to professional advancement, relationship status or simply haven’t had the desire until now, when the urge for a child of your own takes hold, it’s difficult to think about anything else.

From genetic testing to donor eggs, discover the various fertility options available to you in this post. Fertility treatment could be your ticket to motherhood.

IVF

For those considering fertility over 40, IVF is the most common route. Standing for In Vitro Fertilisation, IVF uses hormone therapy to stimulate the ovary follicles before collecting and fertilising eggs. The fertilised eggs are then placed in a test tube to create embryos; this process is known as the treatment cycle and can take up to 6 weeks to complete.

Next, collected embryos will reside in an incubator for up to 7 days before being examined by a specialist for defects and flaws. The strongest embryos will be selected for transfer into the uterus where pregnancy should ideally occur.

As you approach the age of 40, your chances of getting pregnant naturally dip, this is because you produce fewer eggs and have a higher chance of genetic abnormalities which effect pregnancy and run the risk of miscarriage. While giving birth to a healthy child after the age of 40 is certainly not out of the question, it’s important to be aware of the risks.

Genetic Testing

And this is where genetic testing comes into focus.  As mentioned above, the risk of genetic abnormalities in embryos increases with age and as many as 90% of pregnancies encounter abnormalities past the age of 44.

Therefore, genetic testing provides women with key information on what to expect and will help prepare you for every eventuality. Using sophisticated techniques of aneuploidy screening, the test is particularly useful for women who have had unsuccessful IVF experiences in the past or are approaching their forties.

Genetic testing can help to identify chromosome abnormalities, detect over 100 of the most ubiquitous abnormalities and even help to improve pregnancy and live birth rate transfer as only the strongest embryo with normal chromosome features will be chosen.

Above all, the test serves as a sound indicator of whether or not chromosomes are abnormal, enabling women to make an informed choice about their future.

IVF with Donor Eggs

If you don’t have any of your own eggs available then IVF using donor eggs could be the best course of action. As the ovaries store of follicles begins to run out with older age, many people turn to donor egg IVF as an alternative. If you are approaching menopause and notice your periods are irregular / non-existent it may be time to consider this option.

If you decide that this is the route you wish to pursue then your chosen fertility clinic will be able to assist you with a range of options.

Situated in central London, The Bridge Centre is an established fertility clinic specialising in fertility for the over 40’s. Offering a plethora of fertility boosting treatments to women under and over the age of 40, contact The Bridge Centre to find out about their free open evenings. 

This is a collaborative post.