Hollywood's big LIE about becoming a mother in your 50s: As Victoria Cohen ... trends now
Celebrities welcoming babies in their 50s are giving women false hope over their own chances of conceiving later in life, experts warned today.
TV host Victoria Coren Mitchell this week revealed she had given birth to daughter June Violet at the age of 51 after keeping her pregnancy a secret.
Her delivery followed that of supermodel Naomi Campbell, 53, who welcomed her second child in June and told fans 'it's never too late' to become a mother.
But fertility specialists fear such success stories could convince women to believe they can naturally conceive later in life or that fertility treatment is easy.
For most women aged over 45, the odds of becoming pregnant naturally stand at around 1 per cent.
Victoria Coren Mitchell (pictured in 2018) and husband David yesterday announced the arrival of their second child — a baby daughter named June Violet. The TV host, 51, who already shares eight-year-old daughter Barbara with the comedian, took to Twitter to confirm the news after keeping her pregnancy secret. The news was later confirmed in The Times with an announcement which read: 'On 26th October 2023 to Victoria and David, a daughter, June Violet sister to Barbara'
While British fashion icon Naomi Campbell (pictured in September), who has welcomed two children in her 50s, has never publicly revealed the method in which she had either of her daughter or son, or shared their names, she has insisted her first born is biologically hers. Following the arrival of her latest child in June, Campbell also stated that it was 'never too late to become a mother'. There has been widespread speculation Campbell used a surrogate , a method that is becoming increasingly common and used by the likes of Kim Kardashian
More than five women aged 50 plus gave birth every week between 2019 and 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics. Some 824 women over the age of 50 gave birth between 2019 and 2021, the equivalent of 275 per year. This is an almost 20 per cent increase compared to the 701 for the three years prior
Egg supplies steadily dwindle with age before diminishing completely during the menopause. And, over time, they accumulate mutations in their DNA which can increase the risk of eggs failing to properly develop.
Chances are slightly increased with IVF, which can cost up to £5,000 for one cycle privately.
Data suggests women in their 20s and 30s need two to four cycles, on average, in order to get pregnant.
Success rates fall closer to the 4 per cent mark for women over 44, however.
Some might then choose to use donor eggs to boost their chances though this option can cost an additional £3,000 due to extra add-ons.
Victoria Coren Mitchell, 51
Writing on X on Wednesday, Victoria Coren Mitchell said: 'Many people are assuming my tweet yesterday was a Halloween costume.
She added: 'Not at all; last week I had a baby and nothing currently fits me except cloaks. Luckily, Only Connect is a pre-record. Happy All Saints Day!'
She also confirmed the news in The Times with an announcement which read: 'Mitchell on 26th October 2023 to Victoria and David, a daughter, June Violet sister to Barbara.'
The couple welcomed Barbara in 2015.
Naomi Campbell, 50
Naomi Campbell welcomed her first child in May 2021, at the age of 50.
While she has not revealed the method in which she welcomed her daughter, she has said she is biologically hers.
In June, the British fashion star also took to social media to announce she had welcomed her second child, saying 'it's never too late to become a mother'.
There has been widespread speculation she used a surrogate, a method which is becoming increasingly common.
Janet Jackson, 51
In January 2017, Janet Jackson gave birth to a son, Eissa Al Mana, who she shares with businessman and former partner Wissam Al Mana.
Following the announcement that Jackson had given birth to Eissa, her representative said she had a 'stress-free healthy delivery'.
She has never divulged whether she had been on any kind of fertility treatment, but said it was a 'gift' to give birth at age 50.
Brigitte Nielsen, 54
Brigette Nielsen welcomed her daughter Frida, with her husband, Mattia Dessi, in 2018 after more than a decade of failed IVF attempts.
In an interview with The Guardian in 2019 the actress and model revealed they had been told they had only a 2.5 per cent chance of success.
'I was always like: "I want to do it until there are no more embryos left". Somebody has to win the lottery.'
Others, who can afford it, might choose to freeze their eggs in their 20s or 30s before using them later in life.
But that can cost around £5,000 for collection and freezing, on top of annual storage costs of up to £350 per year. There is the price of thawing and transferring the eggs to the womb, which costs around £2,500.
As a result, ordinary couples can be left in thousands of pounds worth of debt from forking out for fertility treatment.
Dr Ippokratis Sarris, a consultant in reproductive medicine and the director of King’s Fertility in London, told MailOnline: 'Getting pregnant naturally [in your 50s] is possible.
'But they tend to be individual cases rather than something you can put in a statistic, less than one per cent.
'It's quite uncommon and unusual, we're talking about a handful of women.
'A lot of people also don't realize how things change with age, or they think because they're older, fertility treatment can help them. Actually, fertility treatment does not overcome ageing per se.'
He added: 'There is a trend. When you have stories on someone in their 50s — and we should be very open that these are nice stories — there's nothing wrong with it, but many don't necessarily say how it happened.
'Was it natural? Frozen embryos? With a donor? People see that and think if they can, then so can I.
'A small proportion of women will fall pregnant in their late 40s and 50s. They might think that's okay and it can happen to anyone. It doesn't.
'Positive stories are great. But the reality is that is an exception, not the rule.'
Dr Catherine Hill, Fertility Network UK’s head of policy and public affairs, said: 'Age and fertility are intimately entwined for both women and men.
'For women, their fertility vital statistics are 28, 35, 42.
'By age 28, female fertility has already begun to fall, by age 35, it declines markedly and by age 42, the chances of having a biological child are vanishingly small.
'However, every woman is unique... and some women can have children using their own eggs after their early 40s.'
Hans Gangeskar, CEO of IVF start-up Overture Life, said: 'Egg freezing and donor eggs are not the only options for women over 50.
'Some women over 50 conceive naturally, and some women over 50 are able to