This week’s revelation that a 62 year old Australian woman has given birth following an IVF conception has generated heated debate on both sides (www.medicalobserver.com.au/medical-news/tasmanian-woman-a-new-mother-at-63).
Many experts believe that 62 years old is too old to have a baby and that the overseas fertility clinic acted irresponsibility. Others support the couple’s choice to have a baby and note that a healthy woman in her 60s may be putting her baby at less risk that a woman who continues to smoke and use drugs during pregnancy.
Far more common than pregnancies in 60 year old women are couples in their 20s, 30s and 40s who conceive through IVF and worry that their pregnancy may be at increased risk. A large Scandinavian study has just been published in the prestigious Fertility & Sterility journal addressing this concern. In this study, women who conceived using IVF had higher risks of prematurity, placental complications, caesarean section and having a small baby compared to women who conceived naturally (Wennberg et al. Effect of maternal age on maternal and neonatal outcomes after assisted reproductive technology. Fert Stert 2016).