Growing number of 50-plus women giving birth

November 1st, 2010 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 1 (IANS) A growing number of women are giving birth in their 50s, as more and more in vitro fertilisation (IVF) clinics relax rules on treating older patients.

More than 100 women aged 50 and over had babies last year in England and Wales, a 55 percent increase on 2008, data from the Office for National Statistics reveal.

In 2009, 140,000 babies were born to women aged 35 or older - one in five of all births, reports the Daily Mail.

Fathers are also increasingly likely to be close to middle age when they are faced with the task of bringing up toddlers. Latest figures show that two-thirds of new fathers are over 30.

As the chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy child drop drastically with age, most of the new 50-plus mothers will have used donor eggs or embryos donated by younger women to help them conceive.

Meanwhile, a separate study suggested that women who are stressed during IVF treatment may actually have a better chance of pregnancy.

Those reporting higher stress levels were more than twice as likely to become pregnant compared with those who were more relaxed, according to a study on 217 women at Staten Island University Hospital in New York, US.

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