A 74-year- old woman is thought to have become the world’s oldest mum after giving birth to twins and ending a 57-year wait to start a family.
Erramatti Mangayamma, from Hyderabad in central India, reportedly conceived the girls through IVF treatment and gave birth by caesarean section on Thursday.
Mangayamma, who says she went through the 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 aged 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.
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 call 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 mother and the infants are healthy and have no complications whatsoever.
“However, the mother has been taken to 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 in spite of her age because she had not 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 breast-feed the babies. But no worries.
“We can feed the babies with milk obtained from the milk bank.”
Mangayamma continues to be monitored in hospital.