74-year-old woman gives birth to twin girls through IVF, becomes oldest ever to give birth: 'It's a medical miracle'
According to the couple, they had tried to conceive throughout their 57-year marriage, consulting with several doctors and religious leaders in the process
A woman from India recently became the oldest mother ever to give birth at 74, with doctors hailing her twin baby girls as a "medical miracle." Erramatti Mangayamma and her 78-year-old husband Yaramati Sitarama Rajarao are proud first-time parents after they used a standard in vitro fertilization procedure to conceive the offspring, the Times of India reports.
Doctors at a private hospital in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, delivered the twin full-term babies by cesarean section on September 5. According to the couple, they had tried to conceive throughout their 57-year marriage, consulting with several doctors and religious leaders in the process. “People looked at me with accusing eyes, as if I had committed a sin,” Mangayamma told the Times of India of her infertility. “Neighbors would call me ‘godralu’ [a curse word for a childless woman]. However, my husband stood by me like a rock.” “We are the happiest couple on earth today," husband Rajarao, a farmer, added. "We have our own children.” She said: "I cannot express my feeling in words. These babies complete me. My six decade-long wait has finally come to an end. Now, no one can call me infertile anymore."
In a conversation with Hindustan Times, doctor Sanakkayala Umasankar explained that Manngayamma underwent menopause almost 25 years ago, and so an egg was obtained from a viable donor and then fertilized with her husband's sperm. While speaking to the Times of India, he called it a “medical miracle.”
According to the report, Mangayamma became pregnant after just one cycle of IVF, which is rare in itself. A team of 10 doctors helped her throughout the pregnancy and subsequent delivery. Furthermore, the elderly mother had to also undergo a thorough psychological examination to ensure that she was mentally prepared for the procedure. “We conducted all the medical tests and found that she was medically fit for conception through IVF,” Umasankar said.
Mangayamma had only recently come to know about a woman in her neighbourhood becoming pregnant at the age of 55 years through In vitro fertilisation and so she decided to try the method and since even at her age she was safe from diseases like hypertension or diabetes the doctors were able to proceed with the treatment. While her age has not yet been verified, if Mangayamma is as old as she claims, it will make her eight years older than the current record holder, Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara. Bousada de Lara was 66 years and 358 days old when she gave birth to twin baby boys, Christian and Pau, in December 2006.
That said, the twin births have raised concerns among local medical ethicists, some of whom questioned the propriety of letting a woman in her 70s have children. “It is certainly a debatable issue,” said Buchipudi Sambasiva Reddy, chairman of the region’s Medical Council. “We will discuss this at our next governing council meeting.”
Women over 44 have only a 0.6 percent chance of bringing a healthy baby to full term, according to a 2015 report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.