Motherhood at 50!

Not So Old

Motherhood at 50!

Pregnancy can come as a boon even in your 50s these days. Thanks to advanced medical technologies, parenthood is no more a far-fetched dream even in your middle-age, enlightens Dr Archana Dhawan 

Ratna Sachdev, a 53 year old, had lost her only son, 5 years ago, in an accident. Sharing her grief, Ratna says “Life seemed to be a burden. I and my husband became lifeless. Then one of my friends suggested me to plan a child for overcoming the pain.

Initially I found it shameful to conceive at the age of 50. Then I finally decided to go for this option of having baby through In-Vitro Fertilization. Now I am 5 months pregnant and it gives me the same pleasure that I had with my first pregnancy.”

52 years old Shreshtha Kulkarni, had some medical complications in conceiving because she got married at the age of 34. Earlier she didn’t know about the option of having baby through IVF because she came from a rural background, where people are not aware of this technique. Few years ago she came to know that in spite of any complication she can have her own baby. It took her 2 years to get her family convinced for opting IVF. Now she is 8 months pregnant and is expecting her baby soon.

Sharing her pleasure she says, “Everybody used to blame and curse me for being barren; I used to be so depressed by that. The moment I came to know about the possibility of having baby through IVF, I started convincing my family and now I am blessed. I will become a complete woman very soon.”

Age is no more a restraint for being a mother. Middle-aged pregnancy had been a common phenomenon for quite some time. And now, the recent trends are that of motherhood post 50 years of age! It used to be thought that women shouldn't get pregnant over the age of 40. But there has been a change in the overall perspective of society and the medical fraternity too. During my clinical practice of 10 years, I have noticed a drastic change in the way Indian couples think.

 There was a time when having a test tube was considered a sin, people used to hide it, if they opted for IVF. Over the years couples approach has become more open towards IVF. Couple between 30 to 40 years are open-mindedly coming forward for seeking parenthood through this method. What is surprising is this new phenomenon of couples in their 50s coming in to achieve parenthood!

Ofcourse, women post menopause have various complications, but with advancement in medical care, everything is possible by close monitoring and quality healthcare. Donated eggs and embryos are required after menopause as women cannot produce eggs on their own, and thus cannot become pregnant naturally. But through donor egg pregnancy is very much possible and there is very much acceptable both by he society and the medical fraternity.

The younger the donor is, the better the egg quality and the greater the chance of a successful pregnancy and live birth. Therefore, women between 50 and 55 who are healthy and well prepared for child rearing, have a great chance at getting pregnant through donated eggs and embryos.

All it takes is a little bit of preparation and an open mind. 

(The writer is a gynaecologist & obstetrician)

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