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Sixty-year-old Austrian gives birth to twins

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Sixty-year-old Austrian gives birth to twins
Photo: APA/dpa
13:29 CET+01:00
In a first for Austria, a 60-year-old woman has given birth to twins in a clinic in Wels-Grieskirchen in Upper Austria, following IVF treatment.

The head of the clinic’s obstetrics department, Klaus Reisenberger, told the Neuen Volksblatt paper that the woman became pregnant by using an egg donor abroad.

Until recently IVF treatment using donated eggs or sperm other than from a spouse was banned in Austria but an amendment to the law on reproductive medicine in January means donations are allowed as long as the recipient is aged 45 or younger.

Reisenberger said it was “an interesting question, if it makes medical sense” to allow IVF treatment for older women. IVF treatment is known to become less effective with age, and there are also concerns for the resulting children's welfare. 

He added that pregnancy for a 60-year-old was prone to complications, even if in this case everything had gone well.

He said he did not want to make any ethical judgement on the case, but that “if someone had not donated the eggs, these children would not be in the world now”.

It is extremely rare for a 60-year-old woman to give birth. According to Statistics Austria it has only happened twice in Austria since 1970.

However, the small number of women who are having children between the ages of 50 and 59 is rising - in 2010 there were 11 and in 2013 there were 23.

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