Anger over woman who had an IVF baby at 63

Fertility experts say mother and her husband were too old for treatment.

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DUBAI // Fertility experts have reacted angrily to the news of a woman aged 63 having a baby in Dubai after a course of IVF treatment in India.

The baby girl was delivered by emergency Caesarean section at Thumbay Hospital in Al Qusais, on Sunday morning. She was was four weeks premature and weighed 2.3kg. The mother is from Sri Lanka and the father, 61, is Indian.

Dr Pankaj Shrivastav, director of Conceive Fertility Hospital in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, who set up the UAE’s first IVF clinic in 1991, said it was an abuse of IVF. The risks to mother and baby were too great with parents of that age, he said.

“This is not what the system was designed to do. It is unbelievable that someone has agreed to do this for a couple of this age. The rule in India is that the combined age of the couple should be less than 100.”

It is believed the couple received a year-long course of IVF in Chennai.

Gestational diabetes and placenta previa, a condition in which theplacenta partly or totally covers the mother’s cervix, were diagnosed in the mother.

Pre-eclampsia, or hypertension during pregnancy, was also diagnosed and can prove fatal.

In a hotly competitive market, some clinics bend rules to put financial gain ahead of ethics, Dr Shrivastav said.

“I don’t think it is right for the baby. The parents have a combined age of 124. Who knows how long they have left to live?

“They started clamping down in India after a woman aged about 65 delivered twins. She never got out of bed after and within a year she was dead.

“This is when the Indian government stepped in to put age restrictions on IVF. But it is unfair to pass judgement without knowing all of the facts.”

Dr Jaget Nirmala, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Thumbay, said women who were healthy enough to give birth in later years should not be scared to.

“One should let nature decide,” said Dr Nirmala.

The hospital said the mother and child were doing well and the couple could take their baby home on Tuesday.