Assisted reproduction for postmenopausal women

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

With increasing longevity, an ageing population and advances in assisted reproductive technologies (ART), a greater number of women are deciding to have a child and become a mother in their later years. With this social and demographic change, an important social and ethical debate has emerged over whether single and/or married postmenopausal women should have access to ARTs. The aim of this paper is to address this question and review critically the arguments that have been advanced to support or oppose the use of ART by older women. The arguments presented consider the consequences for the individual, the family and wider society. They cover the potential physical and emotional harm to the older woman, the possible impact on the welfare and wellbeing of the future child, and the impact on the norms, values, customs and traditions of society. After reviewing the evidence, and weighing the opposing arguments, this paper concludes that there is no moral justification for a restriction on the use of ART by postmenopausal women. Allowing access to ART for postmenopausal women is an extension of reproductive autonomy and procreative rights in an age where the promotion of agency, autonomy, individual choice and human rights is paramount.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Fertility
Volume17
Issue number3
Early online date13 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Ageism
  • Assisted reproduction
  • Medical infertility
  • Menopause
  • Parenthood
  • Reproductive autonomy
  • Reproductive rights
  • Social infertility

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