A woman has just had twins at 73 and this is still the beginning: technology continues to advance by leaps and bounds

His name is Mangayamma Yaramati and on September 5 he had two twins in a hospital in the Andhra Pradesh region of eastern India. But it is not just any birth because, among other things, Yaramati is 73 years old. That is, if the BBC is right, we are possibly the oldest woman who has ever been a mother.

Although Uma Sankar, the doctor who performed the caesarean section, explained that "the mother and the babies were fine." However, not even 24 hours later, Yaramati suffered a heart attack, which is currently being treated.

In recent years, in India we have seen the consolidation of the trend of elderly mothers as a way to escape the stigma of not having children. Yaramati herself explained that for years her environment had referred to her, contemptuously, as "woman without children".

Motherhood at very advanced ages is an increasingly common phenomenon

Patricia Prudente

Sitarama Rajarao, Yaramati's husband of 82 years, explained after the delivery to the BBC that they were "incredibly happy" and that he sees no problem being a parent at such an advanced age. The same mother had explained that "we tried it many times and we saw numerous doctors, so this is the happiest moment of my life."

As I say, it is not an isolated case. In 2016, for example, the case of Daljinder Kaur, who was 70 years old, transcended and the truth is that it is enough to look at any relationship of elderly mothers to see the weight of the women of the Indian subcontinent.

However, it is true that in India age records are not as accurate as we would like for that time. So it is not clear if we are really facing a world record. Record held by Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara, a Spanish woman who was a mother at 66 in 2006 and became an advocate for mothers in this situation.

In other words, the clash between traditional Indian culture and new technologies is creating a very curious phenomenon that returns us to a fundamental question that we have asked ourselves in recent years: is there a maximum age to be a mother?

And, although the national health systems have established deadlines and whenever these cases arise, doctors often remember the enormous health risks of pregnancy (and childbirth) at advanced ages, the truth is that the true age limit is yet to be found.

Yes, these pregnancies are more exposed to higher risks of miscarriage, preterm delivery, or cesarean section, but technologies such as in vitro derived gametes (sperm and eggs derived from non-reproductive cells) have the disruptive potential that brings a new dimension to discussions about postmenopausal motherhood.

In other words, the possibilities and techniques do not stop growing and, as Daniela Cutas and Anna Smajdor of the University of Gothenburg and experts on the subject point out, it is reasonable that in the coming years we will find many new pregnancies of this type with the ethical, medical and social debates that go along with it. Who has been the oldest mother in the world? It matters little because he will soon overcome it.

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