Friday, 23 March 2007

Elderly primigravida

An older woman pregnant for the first time - that’s how I was described when I first had a baby – and yet I was still (just) in my twenties. Nowadays that arbitrary age has risen to 35 and could perhaps even rise further, even if nothing changes. The number of births between the ages of 30 and 39 rose more than 100% between 1975 and 1990. With the advances of fertility treatment, women can now have babies after the menopause, causing considerable speculation and discussion.

There is an article in the New Scientist today detailing a newish technique to preserve women’s eggs by freezing to extend their fertility. There is a little doubt as to the safety of the technique but apparently there is no evidence that gives cause for concern. But the most interesting quote is from Gillian Lockwood:

The idea that healthy women should be able to control their own reproduction still frightens people," she says. "It was the same when the pill was introduced - people feared that the whole moral fibre of society would break down if women were freed from unwanted pregnancies.


  1. A.,
    I think it's as much or more a matter of going against people's perceptions of what women of a certain age should be doing. If you're in your fifties, you should be cuddling grandchildren and not your own newborn (see Figs' post on senior sex!)

    I had my first child one month before my thirty-first birthday, and three more after that. Frankly, and this is based solely on my own experience, I think that bearing and raising children is a younger woman's game. Even just the physical demands of a newborn and young child are more difficult to cope with as you get older - and the physical demands are the easiest! Now that I have reached my fifties, whatever 'maternal instinct' I had has pretty much disappeared, and I can't imagine having a baby.

    But, as the intent was for 'primagravida', I recognize that for some or maybe even many women, this might be considered a good time in their lives to start.

  2. I agree entirely janeway. I cannot imagine anything at all could persuade me that it would be a good idea to have a baby at this stage in my life. The reason I am interested in the subject at all is that my sons are both with partners who are older than they are and one at least feels the clock is ticking.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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