Margaret Adenuga and her husband Noah are a normal couple from Nigeria who underwent 4 cycles of IVF in order to conceive their twins
The unusual part? Margaret is 68 years old, making her the oldest first time mother on the continent of Africa.
She and Noah, 77, had been struggling to have children since 1974, facing a 46 year battle with infertility. The couple spent their life savings on fertility treatments, traveling to Britain and beyond in an attempt to conceive. Just one cycle of IVF costs $2000 USD in West Africa, and up to $5000 USD in the UK. After four cycles of IVF, Margaret was able to successfully give birth to twins, a boy and a girl.
Mr Adenuga, a retired teacher, spoke to CNN
“I am a dreamer, I was convinced this dream of ours will come to pass.” His dreams finally came true when his wife gave birth at Lagos University Teaching Hospital via caesarean section at 37 weeks. Dr Adeyemi Okunowo was in charge of the C-section, calling the birth a miracle and expressing relief that the high risk pregnancy had the best possible outcome.
The hospital management stated that they would have not supported or green-lit the IVF treatments, which were conducted at a different clinic. Dr Okunowo stated, “there are complications that come with being pregnant at that age, such as the baby being born pre-term. Many may succumb to other complications during or after having a baby.”
Mr Adenuga reported that many people criticised he and his wife for carrying out their fertility treatments so late in their lives. He told the BBC, “I received messages from a group of fertility doctors who called our decision to go through IVF reckless. I told them that the decision was private.”
Despite her advanced age, Mrs Adenuga is not the oldest person in the world to have successfully given birth via IVF. A woman in India gave birth to healthy twins in 2019.
What do you think of women in their senior years using IVF and other fertility treatments to conceive and give birth? Is this something that should be up to a woman and her doctor, or do you think certain medical recommendations should always be followed? Let us know what you think in the comments, or share on Facebook to see what your friends have to say.