Friday 23 March 2018

'Don't judge older mums' says Alex Jones after filming fertility documentary

Alex Jones 39, is pregnant with her first child with husband Charlie Thomson
Alex Jones 39, is pregnant with her first child with husband Charlie Thomson

Alex Jones has urged people to stop judging women who have children in their late 30s as "selfish" in the wake of learning more about the difficulties surrounding fertility for a new documentary.

The TV presenter, 39, recently revealed she is pregnant with her first child with husband Charlie Thomson.

Their baby news came after she wrapped filming on BBC documentary Fertility and Me, for which she delved deeply into the little-known facts about conception and the issues that may come with having a baby at an older age.

Writing in RadioTimes she said that, following her marriage to Thomson at the age of 38 last year, she knew "there was every possibility that, like one in seven couples, we'd struggle to conceive".

She added: "But I found actual hard facts about fertility and conception hard to come by."

The One Show presenter said it is "frustrating" that, when difficulties in conceiving arise, the blame is often aimed at the female partner despite the fact "male fertility falls dramatically after the age of 40".

"Nobody brings that to the fore," she wrote. "It highlights just how much pressure falls on women."

Jones added: "I came to realise that the best way to describe conception is "Russian roulette". Women often blame themselves for miscarriage, but in a very high number of cases it's actually the male sperm that causes the miscarriage.

"It takes two people to have a baby. I feel strongly that it's very much a case of "they" and "we" as opposed to "she" or "I"."

She also expressed her disapproval that women who wait to have children - for whatever reason, be it not having found the right partner or not being able to afford IVF treatment - are labelled "selfish career women".

Jones said that creating the programme opened her eyes to how "heartbreaking and difficult" the process can be for those who struggle to conceive.

The programme sees the TV host undergoing tests to check her fertility, and discover what measures would need to be taken to maximise her ability to conceive with Thomson.

She also looks into new techniques that are giving hopeful couples new hopes of having children, and meet the scientists behind these revolutionary advancements.

Alex Jones - Fertility and Me will air at 10.45pm on Tuesday September 20 on BBC One.

:: This week's Radio Times is on sale today.

Press Association

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