First, let me say congrats to actress Laura Linney (Showtime’s “The Big C”) and her husband on the birth of their son
a few weeks ago. Mazel tov! Hurray! A new life; a new family; a blessing; and given her age of 49, almost certainly a miracle of medical science and donor eggs.
Does Linney have an obligation to “admit” that she conceived with the help of donor eggs?
How Age Affects Success of Fertility Treatment
Using donor eggs to get pregnant is a great option for many couples struggling with infertility regardless of age, but for women over say about 42, it is often the only option. For women over 45 it is almost a guarantee. We will be doing an upcoming Creating a Family show on Infertility Treatment in Women over 40, but the reality is that while we’ve made great advances in fertility treatment and pregnancy rates are increasing, most of these advances have not applies to older women or women with premature menopause or diminished ovarian reserves. It is also the reality that donor eggs are not an inexpensive option.
Should She Tell?
Linney, of course, is not the only older celebrity to give birth in her late 40s. Kelly Preston had her third child in 2012, age 48. Susan Sarandon had a baby at 46, and Beverly D’Angelo had twins (with 65 yo Al Pacino) at 49. Holly Hunter also gave birth to twins at the age of 47. Geena Davis had her twins at 48, Jane Seymour had twins at 45, Marcia Gay Harden and Desperate Housewives’ Marcia Cross both had twins at 45 and Cheryl Tiegs had twins at 52.
I’ve heard grumblings that these women, and the media coverage, perpetuate the myth that women can postpone motherhood into their 40s. But is it the celebrity’s responsibility to educate the general public?
Every child is a miracle whether or not fertility medicine is involved, and the details of how someone gets pregnant is no one else’s business. Period. However, I do think it is important for the media to get the word out that fertility doesn’t last forever. They don’t have to do it in the same article talking about a birth of a new baby to an over 40 celeb, but they can still let the world know that you can’t wait forever to have children.
Good genes and good doctors be damned, our bodies age regardless how beautiful and well preserved someone looks on the outside.
What do you think? Even though it isn’t our business, should older celebrities be up front about the difficulties of getting pregnant after 40?
Image credit: People Magazine in an article welcoming little Bennett.