A 70-year-old woman in India made headlines after giving birth to her first child, who was conceived through IVF, in Gujarat's Kutch in what many are debating as either an extremely rare incident or a miracle.

Officials identified the elderly first-time mother as Jivunben Rabari who gave birth to a healthy baby boy who was conceived through IVF. The process, known as in vitro fertilization, is a method of assisted reproduction where medical professionals take a man's sperm and a woman's eggs and combine them out of the female's body in a laboratory dish.

Oldest First-Time Mother?

After doctors fertilize the eggs, one or more may be transferred into the woman's uterus, where they could possibly implant themselves in the uterine lining and develop. While Rabari did not have an identity card to verify her age, she herself confirmed that she was 70 years old, which would make her one of the oldest first mothers in the world.

Medical professionals have noted that when a female is at the age of 70 years, the chances of getting pregnant with a child are nearly zero due to menopause. Many women who are aged 45 years and older are unable to conceive a child naturally and must get the help of IVF, India reported.

The couple was revealed to have been married for 45 years and Rabari and her husband, 75-year-old Maldhari, have tried to get pregnant for many years. However, the couple found no success but did not lose hope and resorted to IVF afterward.

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It was noted that doctors counseled Rabari not to take the risk of IVF due to her elderly age but the woman was insistent on getting pregnant, said Gynaecologist Dr. Naresh Bhanushali. The medical professional said they first made the patient's menstrual cycle regular by prescribing oral medicines.

"Then we widened her uterus which had shrunk owing to age. We fertilized her eggs and created blastocyst and transferred it to the uterus," Dr. Bhanushali said. Two weeks later, doctors were surprised after conducting sonography and finding the fetus was developing, the Times of India reported.

Similar Cases of Elderly Pregnancy

There have been similar cases of elderly females getting pregnant and giving birth but not at the age of Rabari. One incident is when 57-year-old Barbara Higgins, a teacher from New Hampshire, gave birth to her and her husband, Kenny Banzhoff's son named Jack earlier this year.

The couple said to once again try to get pregnant after losing their 13-year-old Molly who died from an undiagnosed brain tumor. Higgins said that since Molly's death in 2016, she was obsessed with the idea of getting pregnant again.

The mother said that she began having dreams that she wanted to have a child and thought to herself that she was a "little crazy." But when she shared the situation with her husband, Banzhoff agreed with the idea, and the couple sought out an IVF clinic located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Despite the cut-off age for IVF usually around the age of 55, Higgins' doctors were confident that she was healthy enough to handle the pregnancy. The mother credited her health to being a lifelong athlete and having good genes, Independent reported.


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