A 67-year old Spanish woman has become the world's oldest mother, after giving birth to twins at the end of last month. The woman and her sons are in good health, following a smooth delivery, a spokesman for the Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona said. According to newspaper reports, the Andalucian woman, who has no other children, became pregnant following IVF treatment in the US.
Previously, the oldest woman to have given birth following fertility treatment was Adriana Iliescu, a Romanian woman, who had a daughter at the age of 66 in 2005. She too had been pregnant with twins, but underwent a Caesarean section at 32 weeks after one of the babies died in the womb. Before Ms Iliescu, the oldest recorded woman to give birth was a 65-year old Indian woman called Satyabhama Mahapatra, who had a baby in 2003. She had used an egg donated from her 26-year old niece, which was fertilised with her husband's sperm.
The UK's oldest mother is Dr Patricia Rashbrook, who gave birth last year aged 62, following IVF treatment with donor eggs. Dr Rashbrook, who travelled to Eastern Europe for the fertility treatment with her second husband, 60-year old John Farrant, paid £7000 for the treatment. Liz Buttle had previously been the UK's oldest mother when she had a son at the age of 60, in 1997, after claiming she was 49 in order to receive treatment.
UK clinics are not likely to treat women in their sixties - even though it is not illegal to do so - most clinics have an upper age limit and few would treat women over the age of 45. Fertility doctors in Britain are legally required to take into account the welfare of the prospective child when treating couples, and many would refuse to treat older women on this basis. In response to the news of Dr Rashbrook's baby, Sam Abdalla, medical director of the infertility clinic at London's Lister hospital, said at the time that although 'it is true we can easily get a 70 year old pregnant, or even someone older, it is much better to have the rules and framework that apply in Britain'. He added: 'I hope this remains an individual case'.