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70-year-old Ugandan woman gives birth to twins via IVF

IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is a series of procedures available to help people with fertility problems have a baby (Pexels)
IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is a series of procedures available to help people with fertility problems have a baby (Pexels)

A seventy-year-old Ugandan woman has given birth to twins after IVF treatment. Safina Namukwaya, one of the oldest women to give birth, delivered a boy and a girl via caesarean at a fertility centre in the capital, Kampala.

Ms Namukwaya told local media it was a "miracle".

This is Ms Namukwaya's second delivery in three years. She gave birth to a baby girl in 2020.

"We've achieved the extraordinary - delivering twins to Africa's oldest mother aged 70!" the Women's Hospital International and Fertility Centre (WHI&FC) posted on its Facebook page.

Ms Namukwaya told Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper that her pregnancy had been difficult as her partner abandoned her when he realised she was going to have twins.

"Men don't like to be told that you are carrying more than one child. Ever since I was admitted here, my man has never showed up," she said.

She added that she had wanted to have children after she was mocked for being childless.

"I looked after people's children and saw them grow up and leave me alone. I wondered who would take care of me when I grow old," she added.

It is not clear whether Ms Namukwaya used an egg she froze when she was younger or whether she opted for a donor egg.

What is IVF?

IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is a series of procedures available to help people with fertility problems have a baby.

During IVF, an egg is removed from the woman's ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory.

Then a procedure is done to place the fertilised egg, called an embryo, in the woman's womb to grow and develop.

It can be carried out using your eggs and your partner's sperm, or eggs and sperm from donors.

The success rate of IVF depends on the age of the woman having treatment, as well as the cause of the infertility.

Generally, the younger you are, the more likely you are to have a successful pregnancy. IVF isn't usually recommended for women over the age of 42 because the chances of a successful pregnancy are thought to be too low.

How much does it cost in the UK?

If you're not eligible for NHS treatment, or you decide to pay for IVF, treatment is available at private clinics. Costs vary, but 1 cycle of treatment may cost up to £5,000 or more.