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A press conference „To Deliver a Child in Ukraine: the Age of an Expectant Mother and Safety of Childbirth” was held on February 29, 2012 in the media hall of the news agency “Ukrainian National News”.

The highlights of the conference were as follows:

– Age related peculiarities of Ukrainian expectant mothers; the youngest and the oldest “mother”; comparison with statistics for prior periods;

– Complications and failures that most commonly arise during pregnancy and delivery;

– Dependence of newborn child’s health on the mother’s age;

– In vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy in Ukraine: popularity and safety;

– If it is reasonable to limit the age of a woman undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technology treatment.

Chief obstetrician and gynecologist of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine Vyacheslav Kaminsky pointed out that there are more than 1 Mio. infertile families in Ukraine. Such situation has serious implications for the future of Ukrainian society in the view of the country’s plunging population crisis.

As of today, most cases of maternal mortality are caused by extragenital pathology. By this reason, it is of crucial importance to ensure that each pregnant woman receives professional prenatal obstetric care that allows doctors to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of pregnancy.

Head of neonatology chair of the National P.L.Shupika Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Head specialist on neonatology of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine Yelysaveta Shunko noted that postnatal state of a baby depends on many factors, health of the mother, the course of pregnancy and delivery being the most important of them. Women over 35 are at higher risk of developing certain complications during pregnancy and delivery of a child with birth or genetic defects.

Vice President of the Ukrainian Association of Reproductive Medicine Valeriy Zukin reported that reproductive specialists of Ukraine are approached by women of different age – from 21 up to retired ladies. The ratio of the patients over 50 years old lies approximately between 1–1,5%. Ukrainian infertility rates dictate the annual need for 70 000 cycles with the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology.

“Surrogacy is a separate method of Assisted Reproductive Technology. It is needed by both Ukrainians and foreign citizens, approximately by 100-150 persons a year,” Valeriy Zukin has said.

According to Valeriy Zukin, each fourth multiple pregnancy is an unintended consequence of the success of in vitro fertilization. Transfer of several embryos significantly increases the chances to achieve pregnancy, but still implicates potential risks of multiple gestation. It was reported that about 500 thousand children were born in Ukraine in 2011, among them 5,5 thousand resulting from multiple pregnancies, 1,5 thousand of which were achieved through the use of ART.

Delivery of twins and even triplets is not prohibited in Ukraine, but medical practitioners warn that multiple pregnancies impact the mother’s health and the health of a newborn baby as well. From medical point of view, the biggest risk associated with multiple gestation is preterm labor, and consequently, premature birth. 

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