Brigitte Nielsen's fifth child at age 54 opening debate on older mothers
How late is too late to become a mother? Actress Brigitte Nielsen has had her fifth child at 54, reopening debate on the growing number of women using IVF to have babies later in life.
Some have renewed calls for women to prioritise having children in their younger and more fertile years, but others said health providers needed to take into account the pressures that led women to put off starting a family.
Nielsen said she conceived using eggs she had frozen in her 40s, an increasingly popular choice among women seeking to extend their fertile years.
Given that the quantity and quality of eggs declines with age, most women trying to conceive in their mid-40s or above would be advised to consider using donor eggs taken from a younger woman.
One Indian woman thought to be in her 70s gave birth last year using a donor egg, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper, a case that promoted debate over the ethics of older women using treatment to conceive.
"Certainly, in the UK and western Europe it's personal choices: it's lifestyle, it's women pursuing their professions and (they) are making lifestyle choices to delay having families to until their late 30s or early 40s," he said.
Kennedy said pregnancies of women in their 50s or older "is not something that should necessarily be encouraged", citing the heightened risks of cardiac and other health problems during pregnancy.
"I think that women should be conscious of their fertility," he added. "A woman should be encouraged to consider that when she is making decisions around her career and personal life."
She pointed to research by BPAS that found women were aware that fertility declined with age, but were often waiting to have children for practical reasons - such as concern over their financial stability or the impact on their careers.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)