Science Reporting

Pregnancy in old age: journals contribute to the belief that it is possible

A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health shows that the most popular journals are used to showing pregnant celebrities at an advanced age without mentioning any risk regarding the same pregnancy in old age or related to the technologies and methods used today to achieve pregnancy when you are a certain age.

According to the study, these journals unconsciously contribute to the diffusion of the belief, on the part of women, that they can safely give birth even after a certain age and therefore to be able to postpone conception too easily.

“Age is just a number”: this is the cover title of one of these journals that, for example, is mentioned in the article presenting the study. In fact, as far as conception is concerned, age is not just a number but a risk factor well certified by various studies.

In this case, researchers looked at 416 journals, mostly aimed at women of reproductive age, and found that more than 120 different pregnant and elderly celebrities were mentioned on the cover. However, only two mentions of the risks with regard to pregnancy in old age were found.

One-third of advanced pregnancies concerned celebrities aged forty years or more and in almost all cases there was no mention of the interventions or methods used to achieve this pregnancy, such as in-vitro fertilisation or the need to donate gametes.

“It is often not reported that there are expensive and extraordinary measures, assisted reproduction technologies and risks associated with these pregnancies in old age,” reports Susan G. Kornstein, editor of the Journal of Women’s Health, in relation to the study.