Just a few decades ago, a woman approaching her 50s was considered to be a woman at the end of her reproductive life, more likely to be a grandmother than a mother – the reality of modern life has broken this cliché!
Due to social, professional and other issues, a lot of women today didn’t have the chance to become mothers earlier in their lives. However their desire became stronger as they grew older. And while, over the last few years, society has got used of the idea of a new mother in their 40s, the medical revolution has now made it more and more possible for a woman to live the dream of motherhood as late in her life as her late 40s, or even after the age of 50.
In countries like Greece, where in vitro fertilization is permitted at a later age, in recent years a lot of Greek and foreign couples have been able to experience the “miracle of life”. Dr Thanos Paraschos from EmBIO Medical Center, who treats thousands of infertile couples from Greece and an average of 1800 foreign couples per year, sees an increasing demand from women around the age of 50 who visit his clinic in Athens, Greece looking for assisted reproduction. “We act in an empathic manner, but always remain realistic with these women, as reproduction in the early 50s is not free of challenges” Dr. Paraschos says.
“Our experienced IVF coordinators liaise with these couples throughout their treatment, from the very beginning to right to the end. A woman will know exactly the fertility plan that will be followed, along with her chances of conceiving. We know that our up to two embryo transfers protocol, permitted in Greece, always provides better chances compared to countries where only up to one embryo transfer is permitted, as women have to repeat the same process twice".
Although the oldest woman who conceived was reported to be 71 years old, it is important that women around 50 know that, at that age, their eggs’ quality is dramatically low, and therefore an assisted reproduction technique such as in-vitro fertilization with donated eggs is necessary.
And what about the practical side of motherhood at 50?
Following technological and medical advances, female life expectancy has markedly improved compared to that just a few decades ago. Women in modern societies are now well informed about the medical tests they need to repeat each year and the quality of their lives is significantly better due to increased opportunities to earn money and to make their own spending decisions. Today’s 50s are the 40s of 1960! As mothers “by choice”, older mothers seem to be much more responsible with their babies and enjoy their time as mothers, rather than “performing their duties” like previous generations.
A 50-year-old mother who received successful IVF treatment at EmBIO after losing her first child, aged 30, in a car accident, stated:
I didn’t only became a mother at 49, I was simply given a life back. All women should have the opportunity to experience motherhood even if they are regarded as old by some people