A 63-year-old woman who lied about her age when she sought in vitro fertilization delivered a healthy girl late last year, and doctors said Wednesday she is the world’s oldest new mom.
The woman said she was 50, instead of 60, when she approached the doctors at the University of Southern California’s Program for Assisted Reproduction, program director Richard Paulson said. It took three years for her to become pregnant.
“Had the individual disclosed her actual age … she would not have qualified for treatment at USC, since the program uses an arbitrary upper age limit of 55 for women seeking fertility therapy,” the program said in a statement.
The baby was delivered by Caesarean section and weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces.
Doctors learned the woman’s true age at the end of her first trimester, Paulson said. They did not release her identity.
All women over age 45 who wish to undergo the procedure must pass a series of rigorous physical tests to ensure they are fit enough to withstand the stress of pregnancy.
“It turned out that she sailed right through it,” Paulson said in a telephone interview. “It is remarkable that a 63-year-old can successfully conceive and adapt to the rigors of pregnancy sufficiently well to deliver a healthy baby at term.”
An article about the birth, to be published in the May issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility, said that when arbitrary age limits are imposed, people will devise a ruse to get a service.
“Human beings whose age falls outside of these limits become motivated to deceive the providers of those services to avail themselves,” according to the article.
The woman has been married to her husband - who is 60 - for 16 years, and the couple have no other children.
Paulson said the successful birth raises the threshold on beliefs about conception.
“It may be said that women have not one, but two biological clocks - the clock for the eggs and ovaries seems to run out much earlier than the one for the uterus,” he said.
Medical literature has documented fewer than 100 deliveries in women over 50. A previous case from Italy reported a successful pregnancy for a 62-year-old woman.