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Experts to debate older motherhood

Thursday September 3rd, 2009

Fertility expert Lord Winston
Fertility expert Lord Winston

British experts are to meet to discuss the benefits of women having children late in life.

"Motherhood in the 21st Century" will take place on Friday September 18th at University College London.

It will focus on key issues such as the reasons why some women are choosing to have children late in life and what this means for their chances of conceiving. A range of specialists and experts will debate the impact on parents and children, and society's views on older mothers and fathers.

The conference will be opened by Lord Robert Winston (pictured), an international expert on human reproduction, after which there will be a talk led by Professor John Carroll on the effects of age on reproduction.

Professor Carroll says: "Despite advances in modern medicine and longer life expectancies, fertility still hits biological limits with age.

"One of the main problems is the greater number of chromosome errors in the eggs of older mothers. As the technology becomes more accessible women may want to consider freezing their eggs and ovaries, and the future may bring new approaches to generating viable eggs in the laboratory through culture of ovarian tissue or the use of stem cell technologies."

Egg donation expert Professor Sammy Lee added: "Older motherhood has become possible through advances in modern medicine. Prospective mothers over 55 are now more likely to be able to endure the hardships of motherhood.

"This topic needs a public airing to combat prejudice and preconceptions about motherhood and focus on the most important issues, such as the welfare of the child and of the mother, and how egg donation should be financed and regulated."

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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