ASRM: Motherhood at Advanced Age Brings Risks and Skills

Three studies evaluate complications, stress and parenting in older mothers

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- While older women are at greater risk of pregnancy-related complications than their younger counterparts, they have no more stress and are just as capable of being good parents, according to three new studies presented at the 62nd annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in New Orleans.

Barbara Luke, Sc.D., M.P.H., of the University of Miami in Florida and Morton B. Brown, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, reported that pregnancy risks increased with a mother's advancing age, while Melinda Henne, M.D., of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues reported that women older than 38 undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) with egg donation are not at increased risk for pregnancy or neonatal complications when compared to same-aged women undergoing IVF with their own eggs.

Richard J. Paulson, M.D., of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and Anne Z. Steiner, M.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that women in their 50s did not have reduced parental capacity or higher stress levels when compared with mothers in their 30s or 40s.

"With more and more women seeking to have children later in life, it is imperative that we have this kind of research," said ASRM President Joseph Sanfilippo, M.D., in a written statement.

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