LivingBeing a mother around 50 years old: increasingly frequent

Being a mother around 50 years old: increasingly frequent

It is a fact that the age of being a mother has been delayed more and more in recent years. In Spain, the arrival of the first child is delayed beyond 31 years, and it is common to see women who are mothers in their 40s, and even more and more frequently, women who are mothers close to 50 years old, and beyond .

As an example, we know some celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Halle Berry and Janet Jackson, or women who have had difficulty achieving a pregnancy and only get it in their fifties.

To give you an idea, in our country it is more common to be a mother for the first time at 40 than at 25. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) for the year 2020, almost six thousand women gave birth at the age of 40 , compared to the 3,800 who did so at the age of 25. It is a growing trend, and according to experts, thanks to the new assisted reproduction techniques, the age of being a mother will be delayed more and more .

Births by mother’s age

We have analyzed data from the INE on births according to the age of the mother (from 45 years of age) for the last five years to see how the trend is increasing.

mother’s age

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

45 years

1012

1214

1206

1260

1329

1268

46 years

490

561

687

768

709

716

47 years

278

275

430

431

412

404

48 years

140

195

193

218

253

249

49 years

104

113

139

130

146

143

50 years and over

120

133

164

184

185

178

Fertility treatments, great allies

At the age of 20, a woman has a 25% chance of getting pregnant if she has intercourse on her fertile days. At age 30, the odds decrease to 15%. From the age of 35 they drop to 8% and to 3% from the age of 38. In other words, from the age of 40 the chances are very remote by natural means.

However, the science is there to help. Assisted reproduction is a great ally for women who want to be a mother past the age of 40 and even 50, when the biological clock has already stopped.

Treatments such as egg cryopreservation, in vitro fertilization with donor eggs and new anti-aging fertilization techniques that “revitalize” the reproductive organs, make it possible to try and achieve a pregnancy in your fifties.

Not only the biological factor influences. Social circumstances today are not the same as thirty years ago. Today couples seek relative economic stability before having children, something that in our current society is increasingly delayed.

Both men and women seek to establish themselves in their careers and have a solid life before jumping on the boat of motherhood. In addition, it is believed that from the age of 40 motherhood is more calm and peaceful.

No age restrictions

The Spanish Fertility Society advises against pregnancies after the age of 50 due to the high risk involved, both for the mother and for the baby. However, in Spain the assisted reproduction law does not impose any restrictions so that women can be mothers at the age they want.

Most gynecologists do not accept fertility treatment for women over 50 years of age, but since there is no law that prohibits it, everyone assumes their own risks. If the mother’s health is good, there are no underlying conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, and medical tests are favorable, there are doctors who agree to try treatment.

The risks of a late pregnancy

Pregnant women over the age of 40 are at increased risk of developing complications such as hypertensive disease of pregnancy (preeclampsia or eclampsia), gestational diabetes, cesarean section, and giving birth to low birth weight and premature babies.

Before making the decision to be a mother around 50, it is important to carry out a complete medical evaluation to rule out health problems, especially previous heart conditions, since the blood volume increases by 50 percent during pregnancy.

If undergoing assisted reproduction treatment, it is key to choose a prestigious clinic, and whether it is a natural conception or not, surveillance during pregnancy must be strict, taking into account that it is a high-risk pregnancy.

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