A 70-year-old woman has given birth to twins following IVF treatment, three years after her last baby.
Safina Namukwaya became one of the oldest women to give birth on record when she delivered a girl and a boy at a fertility centre in the Ugandan capital, Kampala this week.
The premature babies were placed in an incubator after the birth at 31 weeks, but doctors say they are in a stable condition.
Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre described the event as historic and told of “achieving the extraordinary” as it reported that the mother and babies are all well. Ms Namukwaya, who gave birth via caesarean, told local media it was a “miracle”.
Speaking to Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper, she said her pregnancy, which comes after she delivered a baby girl in 2020, had been difficult as her partner left her when he found out she was going to have twins.
“Men don’t like to be told that you are carrying more than one child,” she said. “Ever since I was admitted here, my man has never showed up.”
Ms Namukwaya said her desire to have children came after she was mocked for being childless when younger.
“I looked after people’s children and saw them grow up and leave me alone. I wondered who would take care of me when I grow old,” she said.
Speaking to the Nigerian Television Authority, she said, “They say every child comes with their blessings.”
While women usually go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, which causes a drop in fertility, advances in medicine have opened up possibilities for giving birth past this age, namely through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The process involves an egg being removed from a woman’s ovaries and then fertilised with sperm in a laboratory, before the fertilised egg, called an embryo is placed in a woman’s womb to grow.
It is unclear in Ms Namukwaya’s case whether she used an egg of her own that was stored when she was younger, or if she used a donor egg.
It comes after a 73-year-old woman delivered twin girls by caesarean section in the east Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in 2019 following successful IVF treatment. Doctors at the time claimed the woman became the world’s oldest ever to give birth.