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Learning English - Words in the News
23 October, 2006 - Published 14:24 GMT
Older mothers just as able
a nursing mother

A team of scientists in California in the US say women who give birth when they are older than fifty make just as good parents as younger women. The team also says that older women do not suffer from more stress. The BBC's Asha Tanna reports:

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Researchers at the University of Southern California compared the experiences of one hundred and fifty IVF mothers in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Overall, the results showed that women in their 50s did not find parenting more stressful or physically demanding than women in their 30s and 40s.

These new findings counter views that older women make less suitable mothers, and follow recommendations from the head of the government's fertility watchdog that women in their 50s and 60s should not be barred from having IVF on account of their age. There is no official age limit for IVF in Britain, but the NHS refuses to fund treatment for women over the age of 40.

Asha Tanna, BBC News

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people, often academics, who study a specific subject very seriously and in great detail to understand it more completely

IVF mothers
women who've had babies through the process of 'in vitro fertilization' (IVF) in which medical doctors use sperm to fertilise an egg in a laboratory and then place the fertilised egg into a woman's womb; IVF is also known as the 'test-tube' method

generally, mainly

raising, bringing up children

physically demanding
difficult and tiring for the body

counter views
oppose opinions, have a different opinion

fertility watchdog
an organisation which sets and monitors guidelines on medical treatment for women who are unable to have children naturally

stopped, prevented, not allowed to do something

on account of
because of, as a result of

the NHS refuses to fund treatment
the National Health Service will not pay for medical procedures

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