Should women be able to have children later in life?

Should women be able to have children later in life?

The telegraph has recently reported that women could remain fertile indefinitely, after successful ovarian transplants has lead to births delaying the menopause, doctors have told a conference.

A technique to remove pieces of ovary, store it for decades and then replace it with delicate surgery could effectively put a woman's menopause 'on ice', doctors said. The only thing preventing them from having babies into their old age would be their physical ability to carry a pregnancy, they said.

The controversial notion would allow career women peace of mind with a fertility insurance policy so they can find a partner, settle down and become financially secure before starting a family. By delaying the menopause they could also avoid the increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease that come with the end of their fertile life but may raise the risk of breast and womb cancer.

A conference heard how more than 20 babies have been born worldwide to patients who either had their own ovarian tissue removed before treatment that would have left them infertile, and replaced afterwards, or twins where one donated tissue to the other. Most of the children have been conceived naturally without the need for IVF for drugs.

Dr Sherman Silber, an American surgeon, has been involved in transplants for 11 women at St Luke’s Hospital in St Louis, Missouri, US. He said: "A woman born today has a 50 per cent chance of living to 100. That means they are going to be spending half of their lives post-menopause. “But you could have grafts removed as a young woman and then have the first replaced as you approach menopausal age. You could then put a slice back every decade.

“Some women might want to go through the menopause, but others might not.” That would mean women would not have to “watch their body clocks”, he said, and would only be physically limited by their ability to carry a baby and give birth.

The telegraph undertook a poll to decide ‘Should women be able to have a baby in later life?’ The answers from their readers where as follows:

No - the natural body clock exists for a reason and it is not fair on the child. 67.39% (1,833 votes)

Yes - there is no reason why mature women would not be excellent mothers. 32.61% (887 votes)

Total Votes: 2,720

Article extracts: 9th July 2012

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Posted: 09/07/2012 13:30:51


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