Egg Donation Should There Be An Upper Age Limit

Is there an age when a woman becomes too old to become a mother? It's well known that a woman's egg supply diminishes as she ages. Also, with advancing age comes an increased risk of genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. For these reasons, most doctors recommend that the egg donor be young, preferably under age 35.

However, what about the case of the egg recipient? Should there be an age limit for her? Consider that the average woman now enjoys an average life expectancy of approximately 80 years. As a postmenopausal woman, she is likely to have greater financial stability, wisdom, and life experiences. On the other hand, she may be at higher risk of physical ailments and diseases. Some people believe that postmeno-

pausal women (women in their 50s and older) should be banned from receiving donor eggs. Opponents point out that younger women with cancer or other potentially life-threatening conditions such as diabetes or muscular dystrophy are not denied donor eggs. All the while, these younger women may have a shorter life expectancy than the postmenopausal woman.

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