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CMAJ. 1996 April 15; 154(8): 1189–1191.
PMCID: PMC1487687

A closer look at reproductive technology and postmenopausal motherhood.


Although reproductive technologies have been aimed at young, infertile women, evidence suggests that postmenopausal women are also taking advantage of them. Dr. Eike-Henner Kluge asserts in an article in CMAJ (1994; 151; 353-355) that there are ethical reasons to deny older women access to these technologies. Kluge's comparison of postmenopausal women to prepubescent girls is fallacious. His assertion that older parents harm children by denying them a "normal" childhood is not supported by any empiric data. Kluge's distinction between medical intervention, in offering reproductive technologies to a woman in her reproductive years, and "improving on nature", by offering these technologies to postmenopausal a woman is spurious. Unless technologies that are expensive and minimally successful, such as in-vitro fertilization, are denied to everyone, there are no grounds for denying them to postmenopausal women.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Patterson CJ. Children of lesbian and gay parents. Child Dev. 1992 Oct;63(5):1025–1042. [PubMed]
  • Paulson RJ, Sauer MV. Pregnancies in post-menopausal women. Oocyte donation to women of advanced reproductive age: 'how old is too old?'. Hum Reprod. 1994 Apr;9(4):571–572. [PubMed]
  • Mori T. Post-menopausal pregnancy is permissible for women below 60 years of age. Hum Reprod. 1994 Feb;9(2):187–187. [PubMed]
  • Sauer MV, Paulson RJ, Lobo RA. A preliminary report on oocyte donation extending reproductive potential to women over 40. N Engl J Med. 1990 Oct 25;323(17):1157–1160. [PubMed]
  • Sauer MV, Paulson RJ, Lobo RA. Pregnancy after age 50: application of oocyte donation to women after natural menopause. Lancet. 1993 Feb 6;341(8841):321–323. [PubMed]
  • Baird P. New reproductive technologies: the need to ensure that uses in Canada are safe, effective and in the public interest. CMAJ. 1994 Nov 15;151(10):1439–1442. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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