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Pregnancy over age 50 has become more possible for women, due to recent advances in assisted reproductive technology, such as egg donation.[1] Typically, a woman's fecundity ends with menopause, which by definition is 12 consecutive months without having had a period. Perimenopause usually begins between ages 40 and 51, this is when the periods become irregular & eventually stop altogether (men, in contrast, generally remain fertile throughout their lives,[2] although the risk of genetic defects is greatly increased due to the paternal age effect). Pregnancy over age 35 is associated with increased risks.

In the United States, between 1997 and 1999, 539 births were reported among mothers over age 50.[1] According to statistics from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, in Britain, more than 20 babies are born to women over age 50 per year through in-vitro fertilization.[3] The oldest known birth mother in the world currently is an Indian who delivered twins, baby boy and girl at the age of 70 in November 2008.[citation needed]

Contents

Medical considerations

Risks associated with childbearing over the age of 50 include an increased incidence of gestational diabetes, hypertension, delivery by caesarean section, miscarriage, preeclampsia, and placenta previa.[1][4] In comparison to mothers between 20 and 29 years of age, mothers over 50 are at almost three times the risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and extremely premature birth; their risk of extremely low birth weight, small size for gestational age, and fetal mortality was almost double.[5]

Cases of pregnancy over 50

Birth mothers over 50

Age 50 to 54

  • 1999: Aracelia Garcia of Sunnyside, Washington astounded doctors when she naturally conceived (without hormonal treatment) all-female triplets in 1999 at the age of 54. She delivered three healthy girls Arianna, Brianna and CeCelia by Caesarean section in January 2000.[6][7][8]
  • 2000: Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the former U.S. Senator and Vice Presential nominee John Edwards, gave birth to son Jack in 2000 at the age of 51. The couple decided to have children again after their 16-year-old son was killed in a car accident in 1996. Mrs. Edwards had also had a daughter at the age of 49. Some fertility experts believe she used donor eggs; Elizabeth Edwards has remained silent on this question.[9]
  • 2007: Rosinete Serrao gave birth to her own twin grandsons at a hospital in Recife, Brazil on September 28, 2007 at the age of 51, after choosing to act as a gestational surrogate for her 27-year-old daughter, Claudia, who had tried to become pregnant for four years. Under Brazilian law, a surrogate mother is required to be one's close relative, so Serrao volunteered because Claudia had no sisters. The children were conceived through artificial insemination using Claudia's eggs and her husband's sperm.[10][11][12]

'2008':'In April 2008 Beth Ann DeVrieze , Honesdale Pennsylvania gave birth to twins ,a boy & girl at 52 years of age. Due to a previous tubal ligation invitro fertilization was used.

Age 55 to 59

  • 1956: Ruth Kistler of Portland, Oregon gave birth to a daughter in Los Angeles, California on October 18, 1956, at the age of 57. The birth predated the advent of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) making Kistler one of the oldest women known to have conceived naturally.[13][14][15]
  • 1987: Kathleen Campbell of Kimberley, Nottinghamshire gave birth to a son in 1987 at the age of 55, having conceived naturally.[13]
  • 1997: Dawn Brooke of Guernsey gave birth to a son by caesarian section on August 20, 1997, at the age of 59. She became pregnant unexpectedly, initially mistaking the symptoms she experienced for cancer, and is the oldest mother currently known to have conceived naturally. It has been speculated that the hormone replacement therapy which Brooke had may have contributed to her ability to ovulate past menopause.[16][17][13]
  • 1998: Judith Cates of Evansville, Indiana gave birth to twin girls on December 12, 1998, at the age of 57. She got pregnant after IVF treatment, and she has said that she and her husband, Carl, are often mistaken for grandparents.[18]
  • 2004: Aleta St. James gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on November 9, 2004, at the age of 56, after having undergone IVF treatment using donor eggs. The birth occurred just three days before St. James's 57th birthday.[4]
  • 2006: Lauren Cohen of Paramus, New Jersey gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, in New York on May 22, 2006, at the age of 59. Cohen and her husband, Frank Garcia, had previously had a daughter together through IVF in December 2004, using the husband's sperm and an egg from a donor. The couple, faced with either giving away the embryos left over from the first IVF treatment or letting them be destroyed, decided to try again. As to why she chose to have children at such a late age, with a husband approximately 20 years her junior, Cohen stated, "I just thought it would be unfair to Frank for him to marry me and never have the opportunity to have a child. He never asked me to have a child, but I knew it would make him happy".[19][20]
  • 2007: Türkan Katicelik, a Turkish woman living in Aschaffenburg, Germany gave birth to her daughter in December, 2007. The child weighed 2.1 kg, 46 cm tall and was delivered by caesarean section. She had several miscarriages before she gave birth to her first, perfectly healthy child. She had an IVF with an egg cell of an unknown 25 year old donor. In 2008, she said she was a bit younger than announced. This, because of a mistake in the registration. She would be 60 in July, 2009 and it means that she was only 58 at birth. [21],[22][23]
  • 2008: A 55 year old single woman gave birth to twin girls, in Graz on November 21, by caesarian section. She became pregnant after IVF abroad. The father is anonymous.[24]

Age 60 to 64

  • 1994: Rosanna Della Corte of Canino, Italy gave birth to a son on July 18, 1994, at the age of 62. After their first son was killed when a car crashed into his motorcycle in 1991, Della Corte and her husband, Mauro, decided to attempt to have a second child. The couple tried to adopt, but were unable to, as under Italian law an adoptive parent could be no more than 40 years older than their potential child. Mauro read in the newspaper about an Italian doctor, Severino Antinori, who had helped a woman in her late 50s have a child. With Dr. Antinori's help, the Della Cortes conceived through IVF, using a donor egg and Mauro's sperm. Della Corte became pregnant on the first attempt, but miscarried after 40 days, and it took 6 more attempts before there was success.[25]
  • 1996: Arceli Keh of Highland, California gave birth to a daughter on November 7, 1996, at the age of 63. She and her husband, Isagani, had been married for 16 years when they decided to try to have a child. In order to gain admission to a fertility program that had an upper age limit of 55, Keh told doctors that she was 50, although she was in fact 10 years older at the time. Five IVF transfer cycles were required before Keh successfully became pregnant. The ovum came from a donor and was fertilized with sperm from Keh's husband.[26][4]
  • 1997: Liz Buttle of Wales gave birth to a son in November 1997, at the age of 64, after she had informed doctors that she was 49 in order to be eligible for fertility treatment.[27][28]
  • 2004: Papathiammal Subramaniam gave birth to a son in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India on February 23, 2004, at the age of 64. The baby was delivered by caesarean section and weighed 1.75 kg (3.8 lb). He was conceived through IVF, with an egg donated by a 30-year-old relative of Subramaniam and the sperm of Subramaniam's husband, a 74-year-old farmer.[29]
  • 2006: Janise Wulf of Redding, California gave birth to a girl on February 19, 2006, at the age of 62. The baby was delivered by caesarean section, weighing 6 lb 10 oz (3.00 kg), and was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. Her doctor stated that, for women over 35, giving birth can have risks, but he agreed to oversee the procedure because Wulf was in good health. She and her second husband, Scott, said that they decided to have children together because Scott had not had any children in his previous marriage, and because they did not want their other son, also conceived through IVF, to grow up an only child. Of the 11 children Wulf had previously, the oldest was 40 at the time of the birth, and the youngest was 3. Wulf also has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.[30][31]
  • 2006: Patricia Rashbrook gave birth to a son in Brighton, United Kingdom on July 5, 2006, at the age of 62. She and her husband, John Farrant, received IVF treatment from the same fertility expert who the Della Cortes had consulted, Severino Antinori. The birth of the baby, which was born by caesarean section and weighed 6 lb 10.5 oz (3.02 kg), sparked debate over the ethics of late motherhood in the U.K.[32][33]
  • 2007: Frieda Birnbaum of Saddle River, New Jersey gave birth to twin sons on May 22, 2007, at the age of 60. The babies weighed 4 lb 11 oz (2.12 kg) each and were delivered by caesarean section. Birnbaum underwent IVF at a South African fertility clinic specializing in older women. She and her husband, who have a six-year-old son and two adult children, said that they wanted their younger son to have siblings close in age. Hospital officials believe Birnbaum may be the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the United States.[34]
  • 2009: Ranjit Hayer of Calgary, Alberta gave birth to twins, at the age of 60, after using fertility treatments in February 2009[35].

Age 65 to 66

  • 1999: Harriet Stole of Southgate, North London, gave birth to a son in April 1999, aged 66, after agreeing to be a surrogate mother for her infertile daughter in-law, Lucy Handerson. Lucy and her husband, Harriet's son, Ross Stole, had an egg fertilized and later implanted into the womb of Harriet. The child was born prematurely at 8 months, weighing 4 pounds 5 oz, but survived and grew up to be a healthy boy named Henry Thomas Handerson Stole.
  • 2003: Satyabhama Mahapatra of Nayagarh, Orissa, India gave birth to a son on April 9, 2003, at the age of 65. The baby, weighing 6 lb 8 oz (2.95 kg), was born by caesarean section. Mahapatra became pregnant through the help of IVF, using an ovum donated by her 26-year-old niece and sperm from her husband, Krishnachandra, with whom this was their first child after 50 years of marriage. Doctors had attempted to persuade her and her husband out of undergoing IVF. Mahapatra was also hospitalized for the last trimester of her pregnancy.[36]
  • 2005: Adriana Iliescu gave birth to two daughters at a hospital in Bucharest, Romania on January 16, 2005, at the age of 66. After undergoing IVF using donated eggs, Iliescu initially became pregnant with triplets, but one of the fetuses died in utero. The surviving two were delivered by caesarean section, but one died shortly after birth.
  • 2006: Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara (b. January 5, 1940, d. July 11, 2009, age 69) gave birth to twin sons at Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona, Spain on December 29, 2006, at the age of 66 — one week before her 67th birthday. The babies were delivered prematurely by caesarean section and weighed 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) each. Bousada became pregnant after receiving IVF treatment using donor eggs from a fertility clinic in Los Angeles, California, which claims that Bousada informed them that she was 55. Her family was unaware that she had gone to the United States to undergo fertility treatment prior to the births. Manuel Bousada de Lara, Bousada's older brother, criticized her decision, expressing concern over whether she would be able to raise children at her age. In response to such concerns, Bousada stated, "My mum lived to be 101 and there's no reason I couldn't do the same".[37] Maria died on July 11, 2009 from a cancer she developed soon after giving birth to her twins.[38]
  • 2007: An unnamed Austrian woman gave birth to her third child in March 2007 at the age of 66. She had previously given birth to another child, a girl weighing 6 lb (2.72 kg), in the middle of December 2002 at the age of 61. Her oldest child, a daughter, is 30. Both pregnancies over 60 were made possible by IVF. The second was overseen by Severino Antinori. This could be the only known case in the world of two pregnancies and births at over age 60.[39][40]
  • 2009: Elizabeth Adeney aged 66, gave birth to a 5lb 3oz son in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, England. The child, who was conceived through IVF treatment in Ukraine from donor egg and sperm, was delivered by caesarean section on May 28th. 'It's not physical age that is important - it's how I feel inside. Some days I feel 39. Others, I feel 56.' [41]

Age 67 to 70

  • 2008: 70 year old Omkari Panwar gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, in India via emergency cesarean section. The babies weighed 2 pounds each. Omkari became pregnant through IVF treatment, which she and her husband pursued in order to produce a male heir. Omkari has two adult daughters and five grandchildren. Omkari does not have a birth certificate, her age has been estimated by her claim that she was nine years old when the British Raj left India in 1947. In response to hearing that she'd possibly broken the record for world's oldest mother, Omkari stated, "If I am the world's oldest mother it means nothing to me. I just want to see my new babies and care for them while I am still able."

Debate

Pregnancies among older women have been a subject of controversy and debate. Some argue against motherhood late in life on the basis of the health risks involved, or out of concern that an older mother might not be able or around to care for a child as she ages, while others contend that having a child is a fundamental right and that it is commitment to a child's wellbeing, not the parents' ages, that matters. [42][43][44]

A survey of attitudes towards pregnancy over age 50 among Australians found the 54.6% believed it was acceptable for a postmenopausal woman to have her own eggs transferred and that 37.9% believed it was acceptable for a postmenopausal women to receive donated ova or embryos.[45]

Governments have sometimes taken actions to regulate or restrict later-in-life childbearing. In the 1990s, France approved a bill which prohibited postmenopausal pregnancy, which the French Minister of Health at the time, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said was "...immoral as well as dangerous to the health of mother and child". In Italy, the Association of Medical Practitioners and Dentists prevented its members from providing women aged 50 and over with fertility treatment. Britain's then-Secretary of State for Health, Virginia Bottomley, stated, "Women do not have the right to have a child; the child has a right to a suitable home".[44] However, in 2005, age restrictions on IVF in the United Kingdom were officially withdrawn.[46]

Legal restrictions are only one of the barriers confronting women seeking IVF, as many fertility clinics and hospitals set age limits of their own.[47]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Salihu, Hamisu M., Shumpert, M. Nicole, Slay, Martha, Kirby, Russell S., & Alexander, Greg R. (2003). Childbearing Beyond Maternal Age 50 and Fetal Outcomes in the United States. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 102 (5), 1006-1014. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
  2. ^ The Alfred Foundation. (n.d.) Men's Health. Retrieved May 18, 2007.
  3. ^ Hall, Sarah. (May 8, 2006). "Surge in number of children in UK born to mothers over 50." The Guardian. Retrieved March 29, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Schienberg, Jonathan. (November 9, 2004). "New Age mystic to become mom at 57." CNN. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  5. ^ Lister Hill Center for Health Policy. (October 31, 2003). Pregnancy After 50: More Risky Than We Thought? Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  6. ^ Davis, Simon. (January 8, 2000). "Triplet shock for 54-year-old grandmother. Telegraph. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
  7. ^ "Grandmother of 15 pregnant with triplets." (January 7, 2000). Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
  8. ^ (January 10, 2000) TRIPLETS DOING WELL AFTER BIRTH TO 54-YEAR-OLD MOM http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-63380734.html
  9. ^ http://www.slate.com/id/2108863/ (Oct. 29, 2004) Did Elizabeth Edwards Use Donor Eggs?
  10. ^ "Woman gives birth to own grandchildren." (September 29, 2007). The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  11. ^ "Woman Gives Birth To Own Grandchildren." (September 30, 2007). Sky News. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  12. ^ "Woman bears her own grandchildren." (October 1, 2007). Edmonton Journal. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  13. ^ a b c Kelly, Tom. (September 8, 2007). "HRT could have triggered pregnancy in world's oldest mum." Daily Mail. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  14. ^ Dukeminier, Jesse. (1986). A Modern Guide to Perpetuities. California Law Review, 74 (6), 1867-1913. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  15. ^ "Woman, 59, Has Twins, Sets Record." (December 28, 1993). Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  16. ^ Basnett, Guy, & Calvert, Gemma. (n.d.) "The World's Oldest Natural Mum at 58." News of the World. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  17. ^ Farmer, Ben. (August 20, 2007). "UK woman, 59, world's oldest natural mother." The Telegraph. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  18. ^ "More older women reveling in motherhood." (December 3, 2004). MSNBC. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
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  20. ^ Lamb, William. (July 4, 2006). "New mom at 59 doesn't see herself as role model." The Record. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  21. ^ "[1]" BR-Online. Retrieved December 3, 2007
  22. ^ Benöhr-Laqueur, Susanne: Sollten Frauen jenseits der Menopause Mütter werden können? - Eine rechtspolitische Analyse, in: DIE HEBAMME, 2008, Heft 21, S. 150 ff, http://www.thiemeconnect.de/ejournals/abstract/hebamme/doi/10.1055/ s-2008-1081378
  23. ^ ""Welt. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
  24. ^ "[2]."Berliner Morgenpost. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
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  35. ^ "[3]"
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  47. ^ Appel, Jacob M. Motherhood: Is It Ever Too Late? July 15, 2009.







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