There is virtually no age limit for a woman preparing for In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and treatment of infertility, a Nigerian fertility expert has said.
Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, Managing Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, stated this in an interview with New Telegraph on Sunday published this morning.
The Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, however, explained that ethical considerations restrain fertility experts from assisting women considered old to get pregnant.
Asked, “What is the age limit for a woman preparing for IVF?”, Dr. Ajayi replied thus: “Unfortunately, there is no age limit in the sense that IVF is like any other technology. Is there any age limit to use iPhone? We talk about claims here not the fact. Even if you are 100 years old, you can do IVF if you are healthy, if you can confirm that you are healthy and that the pregnancy will not kill you. But can a 100-year-old woman raise a baby?
“The technology is there and you can use it for 30 years old, 50 years old and even 100 years old. But it’s not a feat when you come out and say you have the oldest mother in the world. The big ethical question remains, ‘are you concerned about that baby you have brought to this world? Can a 70-year-old woman run after a five-year-old baby? Those are the ethical questions. The fact that we can do it doesn’t mean that we need to do it. So, in IVF, there is no age limit.
“In some countries, they said 50 years, not because they can’t do it, but due to these ethical complexities. In some clinics, they also have a certain age limit that they can’t treat due to this same issue. So, what each clinic has done is to say fine, we can’t treat age above this. Though we have a technology, we still have to be responsible to the technology.
I’m not saying that the parents will die; that is not what I’m saying. I’m asking whether a 78-year-old woman run after a three-year-old child and bring him up to become a responsible citizen. I might not be right but that is the way I see it. When we have technology like this, we must understand how it affects each individual, families, and society. This is what bioethics is all about.”