Should women put motherhood on ice?

As women continue to take the career ladder by storm motherhood can find itself being pushed further down the priority list, but medical advances could enable you to become a mum well into your 50s.

Worried about how to juggle your budding career with your desire for a family? Well, medical advances suggest you might not have to as new fertility techniques could enable women to freeze their eggs until they feel the time is right.

An updated method of freezing eggs could boost the hope of women who want to put motherhood on hold or fear they may not be able to conceive later in life by enabling women to put their eggs on ice for decades.

Midland Fertility Services director Dr Gillian Lockwood says the innovation could prove as important for women as the invention of the contraceptive pill.

The technique freezes the extracted eggs in under a minute using liquid nitrogen, meaning more eggs can survive compared to previous techniques that took hours to cool the eggs to the required temperature of -196C.

Olivia Bate, aged three-and-a-half months, was the first baby to be born via the ground breaking new method. Her mother had her eggs frozen in 2009 having been told she may never be able to conceive.

‘Olivia’s birth gives hope to the many young women who want to be mothers one day but can’t try for a baby now,’ says Gillian. ‘If they freeze their eggs at the age of 30, then those eggs will stay that age for ever.’

The new technology will enable women to have a baby even at the age of 50, with no greater chance of miscarriage or Downs Syndrome than what they would have had at the age of 30. It will also increase chances for women undergoing cancer treatment.

We asked the Marie Claire team for their thoughts on putting motherhood on hold and a staggering 75 per cent said that despite their career aspirations, women should embrace motherhood while they’re young.

But what do you think? Is 50 too late to become a mum, or should women be given the choice of when to start a family? Whatever your thoughts, however extreme, let us know your views by posting a comment below.

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