Yes, you did read that correctly. Erramatti Mangayamma, from Hyderabad in Central India, has given birth to twin girls at the age of 74.
Is IVF wrong or right on this one?
Erramatti conceived the girls through IVF treatment and gave birth by caesarean section on Thursday. Mangayamma, who says she went through menopause 30 years ago, is older than the official record holder was when she gave birth.
Mangayamma married agriculturalist Yerramatti Raja Rao, now 80, on March 22, 1962, but the couple had so far failed in their attempts to have children.
Mangayamma says she was inspired to try again for a baby after a neighbour conceived at 55. Her IVF clinic in the city of Guntur is reported to have paid for her treatment because success would mark such a historic achievement.
IVF, or in vitro fertilisation, is a process where a woman’s fertile egg is combined with a sperm outside the body before being implanted in the same or another woman’s uterus to instigate a pregnancy.
The sperm used for Mangayamma’s pregnancy is reported to have been her husband’s.
“They complete me”
Mangayamma remained in hospital and was monitored for the entire nine months of her pregnancy. “I cannot express my feeling in words,” she said after the birth.
“These babies complete me. My six-decade-long wait has finally come to an end. Now, no one calls me infertile anymore. “I thought about taking help of IVF procedure after a neighbour conceived at the age of 55.”
Mangayamma gave birth under the care of hospital director, Dr Sanakayyala Umashankar.
“The surgery went smoothly,” Umashankar said. “Both the mother and the infants are healthy and have no complications whatsoever.
“However, the mother has been taken to the intensive care unit to come out of the stress she had undergone for the last few hours.”
Mangayamma conceived in the first cycle of IVF treatment.
Dr Umashankar said she had had few problems conceiving or delivering despite her age because she had no medical complications such as diabetes and hypertension.
“I don’t think she will have any major health issues in the post-delivery period,” he said. “However, she cannot breastfeed the babies. But no worries. We can feed the babies with milk obtained from the milk bank.”
Mangayamma continues to be monitored in the hospital.