Doctors raise concerns after elderly Indian woman gives birth

May 11, 2016

Doctors in India on Wednesday raised ethical and health concerns after a woman gave birth to her first child in her 70s, following two years of IVF treatment.

Daljinder Kaur gave birth last month to a healthy boy after falling pregnant by her 79-year-old husband, following at a northern Indian clinic.

Kaur said the couple, married for 46 years, were overjoyed at finally having their first child after enduring years of taunts in a country where infertility is sometimes seen as a curse from God.

"I feel blessed to be able to hold my own baby. I had lost hope of becoming a mother ever," Kaur told AFP from her home in Amritsar city.

"I used to feel empty. There was so much loneliness."

Kaur put her age at about 70—a common scenario in India, where many people don't have birth certificates—while the clinic said in a statement that she was 72.

But fertility expert Sunil Jindal raised questions about the future of a child born to elderly parents, as well as health issues for the mother.

"There are ethical issues. In my opinion it is unfair to do such a procedure on a woman who is over 60," Jindal told AFP.

"The sheer fact that a woman in her 70s has to carry the weight of a child in her womb for nine months is stressful.

"Then the question comes how are the parents going to look after the baby? That is also quite a task."

The clinic, in the northern state of Haryana, told AFP the couple's baby was conceived using Kaur's egg and her husband's sperm after two previous unsuccessful attempts.

But Britain's the Guardian newspaper on Wednesday quoted the clinic's doctor saying donor eggs were used. The doctor declined to comment to AFP on Wednesday, saying it was not ethical of him to do so.

Gynaecologist Anshu Jindal, based in Meerut not far from the capital, said she tried to discourage women over the age of 60 from undergoing fertility treatment—for the sake of both mother and child.

"According to me it is not an age to have a baby. It will take a toll," she told AFP.

The clinic's doctor told AFP on Tuesday that tests showed Kaur was medically fine to carry the baby through pregnancy.

The case is not the first in India—a 72-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh state reportedly gave birth to twins in 2008, also through IVF.

Explore further: 70-year-old Indian woman gives birth to first baby

Related Stories

70-year-old Indian woman gives birth to first baby

May 10, 2016
An Indian woman who gave birth at the age of 70 said Tuesday she was not too old to become a first-time mother, adding that her life was now complete.

Indian 'woman' has twins despite discovery she is mostly male

February 9, 2015
An Indian "woman" who discovered she had mostly male chromosomes has given birth to healthy twins after intensive treatment in what doctors said Monday was the "rarest of rare cases".

Polish baby born from mother on life support is doing fine

April 20, 2016
Hospital authorities in southwestern Poland say a baby born two months after his mother was put on life support is home and doing fine.

Brain-dead woman gives birth in Poland

April 19, 2016
A brain-dead Polish woman was kept alive for 55 days so that she could give birth, a hospital official said Tuesday, adding that the premature baby showed no signs of serious complications.

Woman with womb transplant hopes to inspire others

October 6, 2014
The parents of the first baby born from a transplanted womb hope they can be an inspiration to others struggling with infertility—but that's not why they did it.

Wombs for rent: Indian surrogate mothers tell their tales

February 25, 2013
As baby Lili celebrates her first birthday in Australia, far away in India her surrogate mother recalls the day the child was born—and on whom she never laid eyes.

Recommended for you

Population health impact of infants born small for gestational age in low- and middle-income countries

August 18, 2017
In low-and middle-income countries, it is common for babies to be born of low birth weight, due to either inadequate growth in utero (fetal growth restriction) and/or preterm birth, (birth before 37 weeks gestation). Maternal ...

Hormone from fat tissue can give protection against polycystic ovary syndrome

August 10, 2017
Obesity and reduced insulin sensitivity are common in polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS. New research based on animal studies, and to be published in the journal PNAS, reveals that the hormone adiponectin can protect against ...

Study in mice may reveal insights into causes of miscarriages for some women

August 9, 2017
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have identified how natural killer cells in the mouse placenta can cause a fetus to fail to grow in the womb or cause miscarriages.

Insomnia, sleep apnea nearly double the risk of preterm delivery before 34 weeks

August 9, 2017
Pregnant women who are diagnosed with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia appear to be at risk of delivering their babies before reaching full term, according to an analysis of California births by researchers ...

Elective freezing of IVF embryos linked to higher pregnancy rates in some cases

August 1, 2017
A delay in transferring embryos to the mother improves the success of in vitro fertilization in certain cases, according to a study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Celmatix Inc. and several other ...

Negative birth outcomes linked to air pollution exposure early in pregnancy, study finds

July 27, 2017
Exposure to air pollution early in a pregnancy could increase risk for preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, and published on July 27 in Environmental Health ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.