Tiktokkers divided over a 56-year-old mother’s IVF journey to fulfil young husband's dream of fatherhood

The criteria for undergoing IVF can vary by country. Picture: RDNE Stock Project/Pexels

The criteria for undergoing IVF can vary by country. Picture: RDNE Stock Project/Pexels

Published May 13, 2024


In a heart-warming digital tale shared on TikTok, a user named Sheena has captured the attention of viewers with the story of her 56-year-old mother Angie's remarkable journey through in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

The initial video, posted on December 30, 2023, featured Angie sharing her experience and the reason behind her decision to undergo IVF at an age when most would not consider pregnancy.

IVF is a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child.

The criteria for undergoing IVF can vary by country, clinic and specific circumstances, but some common criteria include age, fertility duration and medical conditions.

Many clinics have an upper age limit, often around 42 for women, due to decreasing egg quality and quantity with age. However, some clinics may accept older women using donor eggs.

Conditions such as fallopian tube damage or blockage, ovulatory disorders, same-sex couples, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, previous tubal sterilisation or removal, impaired sperm production or function and unexplained infertility are common reasons for IVF.

Sheena with her mom. Picture: Tiktok screenshot

Angie is a mother of five and a grandmother to 12, with two more grandchildren on the way.

Despite the fullness of her existing family, she embarked on the IVF journey to fulfil her husband's dream of fatherhood.

During the video, she shared: "Today is the day my husband's sperm will inseminate the egg. After five days of hormone injections, it's finally time for the embryos to be transferred."

She went on to express her hope for a successful pregnancy, "God willing, it all goes well for my husband."

The Australian mother shared the emotional reasons behind her decision to undergo IVF in the heartfelt clip.

@sheanaham My Mamma ❤️ She’s 56 and having twins.#ivf #twins #twinsoftiktok #ivfjourneysuccess #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - Sheana

Describing her motivation, she said: "He could have chosen anyone in the world, someone who could have easily given him children. But he married me, so I want to give him children, and IVF is our only option."

The couple faced an obstacle with Australia’s age limit for IVF, which is 52, prompting them to turn to Nigeria, where no such restrictions exist.

"There's hope for anyone with the will and desire to have children through this process," she stated in her video update, acknowledging the challenges yet remaining optimistic.

As women age, the risks associated with pregnancy increase. This includes higher chances of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities in the baby.

Older women are also more likely to require a caesarean delivery.

Another factor that seems to be topical is that older parents might face concerns about their physical health and ability to care for their child into adulthood. There's also a psychological aspect to consider regarding both the parents’ and child’s well-being.

While there's no absolute age limit for IVF, treatment protocols and success rates vary significantly by age, particularly regarding the use of one's eggs versus donor eggs.

Despite the concerns raised by family members about her age and the decision to expand their family, her excitement and positive outlook shine bright.

"We're just really happy and healthy," she said, sharing the good news that at 20 weeks, the pregnancy is going smoothly.

The Australian native explained how out of three embryos implanted, two successfully developed.

Morning sickness has been her primary challenge yet she has remained strong and optimistic. Her children, while initially unsure about the news, share their mother's curiosity and resilience.

"They know that I can do things beyond normality, so this is one of them, having twins at 56 years of age,” she admitted in the video update, proving that age is but a number when it comes to new beginnings.

Her unique journey to motherhood has sparked a mix of support and criticism online.

Her story, largely shared by her daughter on TikTok, has attracted attention and debate, especially regarding her choice to have more children at her age, with some labelling the decision as selfish.

One user wrote: “No disrespect to you, but why?”

Another added: “As a child of an older parent. I sympathise with those babies.”

@Stacey Brell wrote: “This seems incredibly irresponsible to me.”

@melissa also replied: “I’m over here worried about having a baby at 40 😱 this has made me feel better.”

She noted that while natural conception may not be possible for everyone, IVF offers a chance for those yearning for children, though she cautioned that age can complicate the process.

"Hopefully, others are inspired to do the same because there's always hope of having children," she said, reflecting on her journey that defied the odds, even after menopause.