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Baby at 50: Is Janet Jackson’s pregnancy unusual?

Baby at 50: Is Janet Jackson’s pregnancy unusual?

Janet Jackson performing in 2015

SPONSORED: Notoriously private pop star Janet Jackson is expected to give birth to her first child in the coming weeks.

Fifty-year-old Jackson, who married billionaire businessman Wissam Al Mana in 2012, has been vague about her pregnancy since postponing her Unbreakable World Tour back in April.

At the time she teased in a twitter video that ‘My husband and I are planning our family’ but offered no specific details, leaving fans around the globe to speculate on her due date.

At 50-years-old, a woman’s statistical odds of naturally falling pregnant are around 1%, meaning many women have to turn to surrogacy or IVF and donor eggs.

Jackson and Al Mana may have sought fertility intervention and are choosing to keep the details private, but in doing so they may be perpetuating the myth that older women can naturally conceive with relative ease.

This is a deeply personal issue and no-one should feel compelled to share intimate details of their IVF experiences.

However, a lack of fertility education means many patients arriving at our clinics often leave it too late to conceive with their own eggs and have to consider donor eggs.

The issues are not limited to aging heterosexual women. Lesbian couples already have to consider donor sperm for conception and increasingly are leaving it later to start a family.

In doing so they risk having to look for both donor sperm and a donor egg, meaning the child conceived and carried by one of them would not share a biological link with either parent. For some older lesbian couples this can come as a shock and be difficult to process.

Every woman is unique

Good health, lifestyle and diet play an important part in maintaining reproductive health but have little impact on whether a woman will be able to conceive her late 30s.

Every woman is unique and some women, perhaps Jackson is one of them, can naturally conceive at a much greater age than others.

While some celebrities are secretive about their pregnancies others are more open: actress Nicole Kidman has talked about her use of a gestational surrogate at the age of 43 and singer Mariah Carey has spoken about her IVF at 41.

Although both younger than Jackson they were still over the age of 35 where issues begin to arise.

From 35 onwards the chance of a successful natural embryo implantation in the uterus decreases from 35% to less than 10% by their mid-forties.

In the same period an embryo’s risk of a chromosomal abnormality increases from 15% to 55%.

Egg freezing

Knowing about the typical limits to fertility are important but knowing about your own personal fertility health is even better. Anyone can self-refer themselves to the London Women’s Clinic for a Fertility MOT to get a clearer picture of their fertility status.

If you or your partner are concerned about your ability to start a family in the future, you can contact the London Women’s Clinic to arrange an MOT. If the results suggest you are reaching a fertility precipice you can rest assured, this doesn’t mean you have to drop everything and get pregnant.

Your eggs can be frozen and stored with LWC for use when you are ready to use them, up to the age of 55.

For more information or to speak to an expert call the London Women’s Clinic on 0207 563 4309.