When Janet Jackson announced her pregnancy this past May at the age of 49 years old, we had some questions.
And yesterday, after she gave birth to baby boy Eissa Al Mana at the whopping age of 50, we still have some questions.
Questions like, um, you know, HOW THE F DID SHE HAVE A BABY AT 50 FREAKING YEARS OLD?!
Unfortunately, I'm just a lowly Sex and Dating writer who barely passed biology freshman year of high school, so I have no freaking clue how this happened.
I turned to Florida-based OB/GYN and maternal fetal medicine specialist Dr. Lama Tolaymat for some answers.
You can site Dr. Tolaymat's answers the next time your mom won't STFU about your ticking biological clock.
How is it possible for a woman to get pregnant at the age of 50?
Dr. Tolaymat reassured me that getting pregnant later on in life really isn't that weird at all. In fact, she explains that "every year, more and more women over the age of 40 are having babies."
Every year, more and more women over the age of 40 are having babies.
In that case, did Janet just forget to use a condom one time, and BOOM! There was a baby on board? Probably not, according to Dr. Tolaymat. But it's still a possibility.
"Although it is not common for a spontaneous pregnancy at age 49 to be conceived and normal," she explains, "it is not absolutely impossible."
Is there a more common way for someone Jackson's age to conceive and deliver a baby?
If you're looking for a "healthy, normal pregnancy at age 49" your best bet, according to Dr. Tolaymat, is probably going to be IVF (in-vitro fertilization) with either an embryo that was previously frozen using the pregnant woman's eggs or a donated frozen embryo from someone else.
If you're looking for a 'healthy, normal pregnancy at age 49,' your best bet is probably going to be IVF.
That being said, she still warns that "these women will need to have their estrogen and progesterone supplemented and levels followed closely to support the pregnancy early on."
So for women who want to have a baby at the age of 50 but are having difficulty conceiving naturally, there are other options, although there are many health risks.
What are the health risks a woman faces when she decides to have a baby at Janet Jackson's age?
Dr. Tolaymat gave me a whole list of potential issues related to pregnancy at 50. She says,
Health issues related to pregnancy at 50 include any confounding factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other medical problems that tend to be seen as we age. 'Older' pregnant women are at increased risk for gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, as well as delivery complications.
Do your odds of miscarriage increase when you get pregnant after 40?
Simply put, yes.
Despite the fact that more and more women are having babies over 40 every year, Dr. Tolaymat warns that the "rate of pregnancy decreases in the late 40s, and the risk of aneuploidy (abnormalities leading to miscarriages) increases."
The rate of pregnancy decreases in the late 40s, and the risk of aneuploidy increases.
This results in many miscarriages among women who get pregnant at that age.
That all being said, our girl, Janet Jackson, made it with a healthy baby despite all the odds.
YOU GO, GIRL.