Thursday, 1 July, 2010

I won't risk second IVF baby...59 is too old!

The woman about to become the oldest to receive fertility treatment in Britain has backed out - admitting her first IVF baby nearly killed her.Susan Tollefsen, 59, was due to start her course this month at a private London clinic.

But the retired teacher told The Sun: "We've basically decided the risks are too great and I'm too old.

"My advice to older women wanting children is don't risk it."

Two years ago Susan had daughter Freya at age 57.

She had to visit a Russian clinic when refused treatment in the UK because of her age.

A donor egg was fertilized with sperm from husband Nick Mayer, 11 years her junior.

But Susan said: "After I had Freya I had a burst ulcer in my stomach and I nearly died. I don't want to leave behind two young children for my husband to look after on his own.

"He is a bit nervous that we are tempting fate with my age. I should just be happy with the child I've got.

"We've been talking about the pros and cons for months and I'm worried about having another baby at my age."

Government guidelines say the NHS should not recommend IVF to women over 40.

Private clinics generally will not treat women older than 50. But doctors at the London Women's Clinic on Harley Street had unanimously agreed in January to help Susan conceive again.

The consultation was filmed for a BBC documentary.

Susan, who was quoted about £5,000 for the treatment, said at the time: "I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be treated."

But speaking yesterday at home in Laindon, Essex, she said: "We try to make the right decisions in life.

"We want a sibling for Freya for when we are not around but we had to seriously reconsider it.

"The doctors didn't have any problems treating me but I know there are huge risks. I wish I was 35 again but I'm not - and I've got to realize that, however hard it is.

"I had hoped to set a precedent for older women but that's not going to happen."

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