Late motherhood through IVF: Boon or curse

New Delhi : Days after a 72-year-old woman delivered a baby at a Hisar-based fertility centre, the in-vitro fertilization specialists have advocated for an age limit for the couples trying to conceive through this process, adding it is highly inappropriate for the doctors to help couples above the age of 50 to have kids.

“There should be an age limit for couples trying to conceive through IVF. The new regulations for ART submitted in Parliament by Indian Council of Medical Research have the age limit of 50 years for women and 53 years for men. It is highly inappropriate for doctors to help couples above the age of 50 to have children,” said Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, the senior consultant at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon.

The couple – Mohinder Singh Gill (79) and his wife Daljinder Kaur- were childless and decided to have a baby through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) three years ago.

Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynaecologist and obstetrician at Nurture IVF Centre, on her part said the Centre’s proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Bill is the need of the hour.

“The ART Bill needs to formulate strict rules which restrict the age of the patient to a certain level and also guide doctors about use of technology in such cases,” she added.

Dr. Archana informed that a 40-year-old woman can be a mother naturally but when a woman above 50 years in age becomes a mother then it poses many health concerns.

“First and foremost, an infant demands utmost care but a woman of such age can never have that energy level to follow up with the infant’s lifestyle. We feel it is not ethical to treat such a patient with IVF, very well knowing the consequences as a medical practitioner,” she added.

Dr. Archana further said that older women are increasingly at risk maternal health problems and potentially deadly complications.

“Problems like Preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-mature birth, having a baby of low birth weight, common C-section, miscarriage and having a child with chromosome abnormalities,” she added.

In IVF technique, eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries and then fertilised by husband’s processed sperms in a test tube in a controlled laboratory environment. The resulting embryos are then deposited into the women’s uterus. (ANI)