Hyderabad: A new world record has been set by a 74-year-old woman Yaramati Mangayamma who gave birth to twin daughters through the IVF process at a private hospital in Guntur city of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. So far, the available medical records show that the oldest woman who gave birth to children through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization or test tube baby) is not more than 70 years.

Doctors at Ahalya Hospitals in Guntur have suddenly become a focal point of the medical fraternity and researchers from all over the world overnight in view of Mangayamma’s motherhood in her first attempt of IVF cycle. At the same time, a section of the medical fraternity has also voiced questions over the ethical aspect of his achievement—on whether a woman at the age of 74 years can become a mother.

Interestingly, some doctors from the UK where the world’s first IVF child was born on 25 July in 1978 through the discovery of Dr Patrick Steptoe and Dr Robert Edwards, too, called up Dr Uma Shankar at Ahalya Hospital to find out the details of Mangayamma who broke the barriers of age. Sources from the hospital said that some research journals, too, are interested in her case.

However, Mangayamma’s case can be said to be a unique one because of her grit and perseverance to go through several methods to have children. She and her husband Yaramati Ramaraja Rao, 76, are from Nelavarthipadu village in East Godavari district and have consulted umpteen number of specialists and experts to have children since their marriage 57 years ago.

The couple belonged to a well-to-do family and had even tried to adopt a child in the last few decades after they tried several medicines and medical methods for a biological child. At a time when they had almost given up their efforts, a successful IVF process in their village rekindled their hopes.

This old couple through that IVF beneficiary woman got the details of this Guntur hospital and approached the doctors there to go through the same. A team of doctors led by Dr Uma Shankar had conducted several tests on the couple and found that they were fit to go through the process and admitted them in the hospital a few weeks ago.

Dr Uma Shankar, who heads Ahalya Hospitals, while talking to this newspaper on phone, said: “Surprisingly, she (Mangayamma) got pregnant in her first cycle of IVF and found to be perfectly healthy and we went ahead with the rest of the procedure.” A team of 11 doctors, including senior specialist Dr Senakkayala Aruna, monitored Mangayamma. Aruna was a former health minister in Andhra Pradesh from 1999.

There was palpable tension among the doctors as this is the first time the IVF process had been followed on an advanced aged woman which could be a risk. There were instances where the process had failed on women of much younger age too. What surprised the doctors was the unstinted support Mangayamma got from not just her husband, but also her mother who is 94 years.

Now that she gave birth to healthy twin daughters, the hospital intends to keep them admitted for three more weeks, before discharging. Presently, the mother and kids are healthy and normal.

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