This article will be of interest to older women who are interested in attempting pregnancy using donor eggs.
67 year old woman pregnant from egg donation
Recently, it was widely reported that a 67-year-old woman, Carmela Bousada, lied to a U.S. fertility clinic (not ours) — saying she was 55 — in order to receive treatment with egg donation. The pregnancy and delivery was a twin pregnancy. Previously, a Romanian citizen named Adriana Iliescu gave birth to a singleton baby in January 2005, also at the age of 66. Bousada was 130 days older than Iliescu when they each gave birth.
This makes Bousada the oldest woman to ever give birth as well as the oldest to deliver a twin pregnancy.
There are several important aspects of this story.
Carmela Bousada said that she sold her house in Spain to raise $59,000 to pay for the egg donation cycle. This is a far higher amount than it usually costs to have an egg donation cycle which usually run in the $15-20,000 range. Patients considering treatment should compare the costs before deciding on a center.
Pregnancy risks in women of advanced age
Ms. Bousada experienced some complications during her pregnancy. She was hospitalized at least once and reported that she collapsed during the pregnancy while shopping. In fact, older women do experience a higher incidence of pregnancy complications even when they use eggs donated from younger women. The risks of gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, intra-uterine growth restriction, and fetal death, are all much higher in pregnant women of advanced age. The chances for premature delivery are also higher in older women. This is in addition to the risk of prematurity that is caused by having a multiple pregnancy. Bousada's twins were both three weeks prematurely and remained hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit for several weeks.
One study has noted that the rate of cesarean section is almost 100% in women who deliver in their mid to late forties. In fact, Ms. Bousada was delivered by cesarean section. Furthermore, the risks of cesarean section, or any surgery for that matter are going to be higher for older women than for younger women.