Medical Advances in Delaying Motherhood

Doctors have developed a way for women with premature menopause, either due to cancer treatment or natural causes, to have babies post menopause. At least, those are the women for whom the treatment — doctors take a piece of active ovary, preserve it, and then re-implant the piece when the woman wants to have a child — was designed. Now, however, Dr. Sherman Silber is touting the procedure as a way for career women to delay motherhood:


Dr Silber has previously claimed ovary transplants could be a solution to the increase in fertility problems caused by career women putting off having children.

In 2008 he predicted women who had an ovary frozen in their 20s could look forward to the best of all worlds.

‘A young ovary can be transplanted back at any time and it will extend fertility and delay the menopause. You could even wait until you were 47,’ he said.

The best of all worlds, huh? Does the “best” include health and comfort for the mother? Women discuss pregnancies and deliveries often. The typical consensus: those of us delivering in our 30s had a much harder time than our 20-something counterparts and usually required a c-section. We had it far easier, however, than our friends who tried for children around 40. They typically had difficulty conceiving, had more miscarriages, and had the most sluggish recoveries of all of us. (A woman’s body snaps back from delivery at 25 in a way that is uncommon for a 35 year old and lost to a 40 year old without surgical intervention.)

After delivery, of course, come the sleepless nights, which we did for fun in our early 20s. Functioning on four hours sleep is less fun later on.


And that’s just the mothers. Does the “best” count children who are more likely to have older, less active, and more over-protective mothers Additionally what about the grandparent math? If a mom waits until she is 40 to have a child, and that child waits until 40 to have a child, then the mom will not be a grandmother until she is 80. Both grandmother and grandchild — and society — could miss the benefits of an important relationship.

Society would be wise to consider this another lesson in “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”


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