Pregnancy At 50: How Is This Safe And Possible? What Science Says As A Pregnant Janet Jackson Shocks The World

By Rachel Cruise, Parent Herald May 09, 04:30 am

Janet Jackson shocked the world when it was announced that she's pregnant with her first baby just weeks shy of turning 50. But is pregnancy at 50 safe? How can this be possible at this age? Let's look at the answers from science and experts:

1. Pregnancy at 50 is rare, but it can happen.

Data from the National Vital Statistics Reports indicate that there had been 743 women above 50-years-old who gave birth in America in 2014. Statistically, 1 in 10,000 women in America gives birth at the age of 50.  In March, Swiss billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus gave birth to twins at age 53, per The Guardian. Several well-known women have also given birth past the ideal age, including Laura Linney at almost 50, per Parent Herald.

2. Pregnancy at 50 usually involves egg donations or fertility treatments.

A 50-years-old woman is entering menopause and it would be harder to have fertile eggs at this point. The Daily Beast reports that it is possible egg donors could be involved in the fertility process. This cost $30,000 per procedure in the least.

Donor eggs or donor IVF has a success rate of 50 to 75 percent. It's the eggs, not the womb, which is vital to reproduction in this case, per Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. It should be harvested from patients below 30.

3. Pregnancy at 50's increased health risk.

Being pregnant at 50 is not without its health risk as the woman could experience high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, gestational diabetes or premature delivery. The baby could also experience stunted growth and this attributed to the declining blood circulation of a woman in her 50s, per Self.

However, healthy pregnancy is still possible at age 50 and it might even have no complications especially if the woman has taken good care of her body. "It's hard to predict ahead of time whether a woman will have complications, but generally speaking, the healthier the woman, the smoother the pregnancy will be," said Dr. David Diaz via Self.

See Now: 35 Things New Moms Should Know About Breastfeeding

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