A 75-year-old woman has reportedly given birth to a baby girl weighing just 600g in India’s northern state of Rajasthan. The baby was delivered prematurely at just 6.5 months of pregnancy via caesarean section.
The woman, who is described as both medically and physically weak as a result of having only one lung, had previously adopted a child but wanted to give birth herself and therefore sought IVF treatment.
She reportedly gave birth late on Saturday night to a baby girl who was immediately rushed to the ICU of a different hospital to where the mother is being treated.
“The elderly woman had no child and she had adopted a boy of their relatives but her daughter-in-law used to beat her, after which she decided to give birth to a child of her own,” Dr Abhilasha Kinkar, who facilitated the birth, told the Hindustan Times.
As is frequently the case in India, the woman’s exact age is not known because older generations do not have official birth certificates which prove their age.
In September, Erramatti Mangayamma, 73, gave birth to twins via IVF in the south eastern state of Andhra Pradesh, also through a combination of IVF and delivery via C-section.
Doctors claimed at the time that she was the oldest person ever to give birth, though there were some disputes as to her actual age, with some outlets reporting that she was 73 while others said she was 74.
While the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs deteriorate over time, their uterus is not subject to the same constraints, making IVF treatment using donor eggs medically possible but ethically questionable.
The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine discouraged doctors from “providing donor oocytes or embryos to women over 55 years of age, even when they have no underlying medical problems,” citing health concerns for mother and child in the short term and the need for “adequate psychosocial supports” to raise the child to adulthood.
The oldest confirmed mother is Maria del Carmen Bousada from Spain, who gave birth when she was 66, but sadly died of ovarian cancer just two years later.