A 70-year-old woman has given birth to twins following IVF treatment, a hospital in Uganda has said.
Safina Namukwaya delivered a boy and a girl via caesarean at a fertility centre in the capital, Kampala.
The septuagenarian, who is one of the oldest women to give birth, told local media it was a “miracle.”
The hospital congratulated her, saying it was more than a “medical success; it’s about the strength and resilience of the human spirit.”
Dr. Edward Tamale Sali, a fertility specialist at the Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre (WHI&FC), told reporters the mother used a donor egg and her partner’s sperm for the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure.
The babies were born prematurely at 31 weeks and placed in incubators. Dr. Sali says they are currently “stable.”
Both mother and babies are in good health and are still under observation at a facility in the capital, Kampala. Safina Namukwaya usually lives in rural Masaka, some 120 kilometres west of the capital. Only three years ago, the septuagenarian gave birth to a daughter after being described as a “cursed woman” for not having been able to have children before.
In 2019, a 73-year-old Indian woman gave birth to twins following IVF treatment.
Ms. Namukwaya told Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper that her pregnancy had been difficult as her partner abandoned her when he realised she was going to have twins.
With her first husband, who died in 1992, she had no children of her own. Ms. Namukwaya’s current partner, whom she met in 1996, did not attend the birth, much to her dismay.
This is Ms. Namukwaya’s second delivery in three years. She gave birth to a baby girl in 2020.
She said she had wanted to have children after she was mocked for being childless.
Typically, women go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. Fertility drops around this time but advances in medicine have made it possible for them to give birth.
IVF is one of several techniques. During the process, an egg is removed from a woman’s ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory.
The fertilised egg, called an embryo, is then put in a woman’s womb to grow and develop.