An Indian woman has had her first child aged 70, making her one of the oldest new mothers in the world.
Jivunben Rabari and her husband Maldhari, 75, welcomed a son, whose name they have not revealed, through IVF earlier this month.
Rabari said she does not have an ID to prove her age, but told reporters it was 70.
If confirmed, she would be one of the oldest first mothers in the world behind Erramatti Mangayamma, who had twin girls in September 2019, aged 74.
In Nigeria, a 68-year-old woman and her husband, Noah Odinga, 70, gave birth for the first time to twins in 2020 after waiting for 43 years. They said they had tried 3 failed cycles of IVF before they had twins.
The new parents, Rabari and Maldhari, are from a small village called Mora in Gujurat, India. They have been married for 45 years and have been trying unsuccessfully for a baby for some time.
They were able to have a child through IVF – a procedure when an egg is fertilised outside the body and then transferred to the woman’s uterus – which can be effective after menopause.
The couple’s doctor Naresh Bhanushali said it was ‘one of the rarest cases I have ever seen.
The doctor said: ‘When they first came to us, we told them that they couldn’t have a child at such an old age, but they insisted.
‘They said that many of their family members did it as well. This is one of the rarest cases I have ever seen.’
The chances of a woman in her 70s getting pregnant naturally are virtually zero.
This is because most women go through menopause between their late 40s and early 50s.
But the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) claims that any woman of any age can get pregnant with medical help provided that she has a ‘normal uterus’, even if she no longer has ovaries.
Medics use an egg donated by a much younger woman and it is fertilised outside of the body using a man’s sperm.
Eventually, the embryo is placed inside the woman’s womb in the hopes that she’ll become pregnant.
There have been several instances of women into their 60s and 70s having children through IVF in India.
For example, an Indian woman named Erramatti Mangayamma is believed to be the oldest woman in the world to give birth after welcoming twins through IVF aged 74.
Mangayamma gave birth to twin girls in a ‘medical miracle’ on September 5, 2019, following IVF treatments involving a donor’s egg and her husband’s sperm.
The pensioner, of Andhra Pradesh state, revealed she was inspired to try for a baby after her 55-year-old neighbour conceived.
She and her husband Sitarama Raja Rao, then 82, welcomed the babies after 57 years of marriage without children and described themselves as the ‘happiest couple on earth.
Mangayamma said at the time: ‘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 call me infertile anymore.’
Mangayamma gave birth at the Ahalya IVF clinic today under the guidance of Dr S Umashankar.
Dr Umashankar said it came as a ‘surprise’ when the patient approached him last November but revealed he saw it as a ‘challenge’.
It is believed the Ahalya IVF clinic in Guntur city paid for most of the procedure as medics knew it would be a historic achievement.
Mangayamma conceived in January 2019 after her first cycle of IVF.
She was kept in the hospital throughout the pregnancy where a team of ten doctors monitored her health.