Wednesday 18 September 2019

Mother (74) and twins doing well as woman sets new birth record

A team of four doctors performed the caesarean operation. Stock picture
A team of four doctors performed the caesarean operation. Stock picture

Saptarshi Ray

A 74-year-old woman in India has set a world record by giving birth to twins, saying she and her husband always wanted children but never thought it would happen.

Erramatti Mangayamma, who conceived through IVF, delivered twin girls at the Ahalya Nursing Home in Guntur, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

"I am very happy. God has answered our prayers," Mrs Mangayamma said after the delivery.

Her husband, Yerramatti Raja Rao (80), and other family members marked the occasion by handing sweets to an assembled crowd.

A team of four doctors performed the caesarean operation. Dr Sanakkayala Umashankar, who led the medical team, said the mother and babies were doing well.

The news was met with bemusement and criticism from medical professionals and politicians, questioning why IVF was administered to such an elderly woman and asking what will become of the children in the future.

Dr Umashankar said: "She was referred to us by a medical board who declared she was healthy enough to go through the procedure.

"To me it was just another case."

When asked about the criticism over the ethics of giving IVF to a woman of her age, he said: "That's an emotional question. I can't answer that."

Ms Mangayamma married Yerramatti Raja Rao in 1962.

Local reports say a woman who lives in the same neighbourhood as the couple managed to conceive using IVF at the age of 55.

The elderly couple drew inspiration from her case and approached IVF experts at the clinic late last year, who decided to help them. Doctors had to obtain eggs from a donor and fertilise them with sperm from her husband.

"It is another world record. Mangayamma and her husband are also happy," Dr Umashankar said. The record had been held by a Punjab woman who gave birth in 2017 at the age of 72.

The average cost of IVF in India is between 100,000 to 125,00 rupees (€1,260-1,576), but Dr Umashankar said the clinic waived the fee. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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