How old is too old?
I read in the local paper on Sunday that a 57 year old woman had given birth to twins in Perth recently. The twins had been the result of IVF treatment. I had to pause and re-read that information. 57? Wow. Now these days, 57 is not old in real terms. People are fitter, healthier and yes we are living longer generally speaking.
But having a baby at 57? She will be 70 when her babies are teenagers. I suspect that’s going to be quite stressful for her.
I still remember when Maria Carmen del Bousada aged 66 conceived twins via IVF. She died 2 years later of a tumour and said the drugs used during her intensive fertility treatment might have helped to spread the disease. It was an incredibly sad story for all the parties involved.
This is a really interesting issue for me because my own grandmother fell pregnant by accident at the age of 46. She thought she was going through menopause, and got the shock of her life when the doctor told her she was several months pregnant. And I also know from what she told me she loved being a mother again late in life, but she also admitted it was much harder on her physically and emotionally than it had been when she had her first baby 17 years before.
It’s a pretty rare occurrence for women to give birth over the age of fifty. And according to the Health Department in Perth only six women aged 50 gave birth in WA from 1980 to 2009. A spokeswoman for the Health Department said “Fifty years is the maximum age of a mother recorded in WA…Some, but not all, of these mothers were receiving IVF treatment.”
So it got me thinking. Is there a cut off point for IVF in terms of age? I know many clinics here in Australia have one and from what I gather, these babies were the result of IVF overseas. But in your opinion, how old is too old, or is it really anybody’s business?