A woman in southern India may have just set a mother of a record by giving birth to twins in her 70s.
Mangayamma Yaramati ― whose age has been reported as both 73 and 74 ― gave birth nearly two weeks ago to two little girls who were conceived via in vitro fertilisation, according to news outlets.
Doctors delivered the girls via Caesarean section in what was the culmination of Yaramati’s 57-year marriage to her husband Sitarama Rajarao, who is in his 80s.
“We tried many times and saw numerous doctors, so this is the happiest time of my life,” she told the BBC.
The twins were conceived through IVF, with Rajarao’s sperm fertilising a donor egg because Yaramati had experienced menopause, doctors told the Hindustan Times.
But it wasn’t a smooth experience by any means. A day after Yarameti gave birth, Rajarao suffered a stroke and was still being treated in the hospital.
Sankkayala Uma Shankar, the doctor who delivered the babies, told The Washington Post that Yarameti had a birth certificate that said she is 74.
Those involved in the delivery claim this makes Yarameti the world’s oldest mother, but the newspaper pointed out that her age was not immediately verifiable.
If Yarameti’s age can be proven, she would become the oldest woman to give birth, according to Guinness World Records, beating out Barcelona’s Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara, who gave birth to twin boys in September 2006 at the age of 66 years and 358 days. However, the BBC noted that another woman thought to be in her 70s gave birth to a boy in India in 2016.
But even if the births don’t set a world record, they’ve definitely started a controversy in India’s medical community, with some experts opposed to IVF for someone of Yaramati’s age.
“The doctors should not have considered the case even if the couple pleaded with them,” one gynaecologist told the Times of India.