“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain — your life will never be the same” Catherine Jones
Across culture, the news of women becoming pregnant at 50 received varied reactions from families, friends and community. Some cultures found it medically awesome, amazing and miraculous; some found it critically dangerous and shameful, while others found it amusing and ridiculous. Whatever reaction and reception the news generated, there is one common basis of such reaction: The risk and wonder of pregnancy at 50.
The physical, emotional, psychological and social make up of a 50- year- old woman indicates disadvantages which outweigh the advantages; pregnant women in their 50’s are courting higher risk.
High Risk in pregnancy refers to the increased possibility of morbidity and mortality for a mother and the fetus conceived. Study shows that increased incidence of gestational diabetes, hypertension, and fetal mortality due to low birth weight and premature birth count as among the many risks faced by a pregnant 50’s and the child she bears. Death before and during conception is also common; causes of death among pregnant 50’s are hemorrhage, pregnancy-induced hypertension and pulmonary embolism (obstruction of the veins leading to elevated blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs). Common cause of death or problem with the fetus conceived would be deformity, pre term labor and if the infant survives until delivery, the risk of congenital disability is higher.
Oppose to menopause
Pregnancy at 50 opposes the common idea collectively believed by many, on the impossibility of conception during menopause. Menopause is the stage when the release of the egg in a woman’s ovaries began to slow down, and eventually end or stop, although ovulation does not immediately stop, making it possible for pregnancy to take place. Contrary to the common belief, conception is still possible at the onset of menopause.
At 50 years old, few women expect to bear a child, but when pregnancy is inevitable, a woman pregnant at 50 faces a lot of issues and challenges. First, is the physical changes that she should deal with: physical discomfort, hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods or menstruation, loss of libido, and many other physical changes that may lead to the second challenge: the emotional and psychological adjustment. Most women who are in the menopausal stage likely struggle with emotional and psychological issues such as mood swings, irritability, fatigue, disorientation, mental confusion, disturbing memory lapses, anxiety and depression, among others, which may also affect social relationship within the family and her social circles. Bearing a child in this condition may not be favorable to the woman and the child in her womb. The best way to deal with the inevitable is to seek help and appropriate treatment for menopause. Herbal remedies and natural approaches to treat discomfort due to menopause is a wise option, considering the pregnancy and the harmful effect of artificial treatment to the fetus. Eating healthy foods and regular but light exercises are habits that should be strengthened or to be started in a pregnant woman’s regular routine. Staying connected to significant people and circles of friends help a lot during this period.
Golden Egg laid in Golden Years
For women in their 50’s who planned and chose to be pregnant, the moment of conception is the happiest event in their life. The rare chance to conceive in their 50’s made the pregnancy a miracle and a triumphant moment; an amazing event treasured along with the golden experiences accumulated for 50 years. At best, it can become the peak of a woman’s lifetime achievement.
Gynecologist sometimes remind the 50-year-old-aspiring-to-be-mother of the fact that her remaining ova or egg count to approximately 100 or more only, so as not to give her false hope. That means, chances are so slim, regardless of the many assisted reproductive technologies that abound. To realize the dream of having a child in that golden year, a woman should spend golden effort so diligently and expensively to take care of that golden egg which will produce so much happiness to the 50 -year old-aspiring mother. So, when conception happens at the age of 50 -whether naturally or artificially induced- there will be cause for celebration to mark the precious, golden moment.