Some months back, it would be out of place to address Lagos State first lady, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode as a celebrity. However, the physics graduate’s prestige and celebrity have grown following her husband’s current status.
Born about 51 years ago, Bolanle Ambode married her spouse about 26 years ago but until two years back, the couple had no child of their own. And when the bundle of joy later arrived in the form of twins, it was via In Vitro Fertilisation(IVF).
But the couple like most other celebrity couples across the globe, who had IVF or procreated through donor eggs, kept it secret.
Their action was recently frowned at by the chairman of British Fertility Society, Prof. Adam Balen at the Cheltenham Science Festival where he said celebrities who have children in their 40s are giving women false hope about motherhood.
A specialist in reproductive medicine, Prof. Balen(pictured right) explained that celebrities who parade ‘miracle babies’ will often have used IVF or donor eggs. And – because they do not make this public – their fans fail to realise that fertility declines dramatically after the age of 37.
‘If more celebrities were prepared to speak out, it would do the world of fertility medicine a lot of good.
‘The key thing is the heartache of infertility that affects older women who haven’t realised that it’s not so easy to get pregnant just as soon as you wish.
‘And while you hear lots of good news stories about celebrities who may have given birth at an older age, nobody knows the number of celebrities who may not have been able to have babies, either because of infertility or possibly fertility treatment that has been unsuccessful.
‘There is always a strong possibility that many of these celebrities may well have sought the help of assistance in a fertility clinic and may have conceived either with IVF or donor eggs,’ Prof. Balen said.
The issue was thrown into the spotlight by a study showing that at 44 it is almost 20 times harder to get pregnant through IVF than at 39.
The rapid speeding up of their biological clock means women in their mid-40s have only a 1.3 per cent chance of the treatment working.