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Celebrities may be setting a trend for delaying parenthood

There are numerous reasons why people delay starting their families until later in their reproductive years (e.g., not finding the “right” partner, pursuing career goals, financial circumstances). In addition, celebrities may be contributing to this social and cultural phenomenon in fueling the belief that as long as a woman remains “fit” and “healthy” she too, should be able to become a mother in her 40s. Indeed in recent years there has been a virtual mid-life baby boom among Hollywood stars announcing their pregnancies and showing off their “baby bumps” (e.g. Uma Thurman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Preston, Holly Hunter, Geena Davis, Celine Dion, Marcia Cross, Halle Berry). What isn’t talked about is how many failed IVF cycles these women had to go through to achieve a viable pregnancy, or the fact that many had to use the eggs of much younger women. According to the Centers for Disease Control in the US, women over the age of 44 have only a 1% chance of achieving a viable pregnancy using their own eggs. We also don’t tend to hear about the risks and complications that these stars faced when they had babies later in life. For example, due to a condition called preeclampsia – high blood pressure – Jane Seymour and her twins almost died when she was pregnant in her mid 40s.

Says Ray Chinn, spokesperson for a UK-based insurance company that conducted a survey on delayed parenting: We often see tales of mature celebrities that have become new parents and now we can see how many normal men and women are following in their famous footsteps and becoming what has today been dubbed parensioners.”

Read more about this issue here.

To learn more about Nicole Kidman’s fertility struggles click here.

Read more about the relationship between age and fertility, and age and IVF here and here.

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