70-Year-Old Woman Gives Birth to Her First Child

At an age when most women are either busy playing with their grandchildren or are long past thinking about having children, a 70-year-old Indian woman just gave birth to her first child.

Jivuben Valabhai Rabari and her husband had been trying to conceive ever since they got married, 45 years ago, but their every attempt had been unsuccessful. A couple of years ago, Ms. Rabari, a milk farmer from rural Gujarat, contacted a gynecologist about the possibility of trying an IVF treatment to finally fulfill her dream of having a baby. The doctor, Naresh Bhanushali, had helped several members of the woman’s family conceive, and she was convinced he could do the same for her. Despite receiving negative counseling and being told that her relatives were between 45 and 50 years old, not nearing 70 like her, she would not take ‘no’ for an answer.

Photo: Aditya Romansa/Unsplash

“I explained that those family members were all between 45-50 years old so IVF treatment was possible. I tried to give her negative counseling, explaining the risks that she may even lose her life, but she was so emotional that I eventually gave in,” Dr. Bhanushali said.

“I told her that she is too old and this is too dangerous for your health, but she would not listen. She ultimately started crying and said ‘Even if I die, I will be happy that at least I tried to have a child,'” the Indian gynecologist added.

Getting Jivuben ready for insemination was a massive challenge for Bhanushali and his team. Ms Rabari had been post-menopausal for over 20 years, so she was first given hormone treatments to start menstruation. Then, they widened her uterus which had shrunk owing to age, and finally transferred a single embryo using IVF, because that’s all her uterus could handle.

Miraculously, a test conducted 15 days after insemination revealed that Jivuben had conceived. Doctors later found a heartbeat and despite the obvious health risks to the elderly woman, they went on with the pregnancy, egged on by the mother-to-be herself. However, by the eighth month, the woman’s blood pressure had become worryingly high, so doctors decided to deliver the baby a month before she was due.

“Though we took utmost care, I have to say that she was lucky and we were lucky that the procedure was successful,” Dr. Naresh Bhanushali said. “This is a rare case, you can call it a miracle. I have been practicing for 20 years and conducted over 1,000 IVF treatments but I have never seen a case like this. While we are happy that the case was successful, we still urge people to not attempt pregnancies in old age.”

Like many of her peers born in rural India, Jivuben Valabhai Rabari doesn’t have a birth certificate to confirm her age, but she told doctors that she was between 65 and 70-years-old when she gave birth to her healthy baby boy. Her age estimation was also confirmed by the doctors.


Successfully impregnating a woman at such an advanced age may be considered a scientific miracle, but it also raises ethical concerns for the doctors involved, because of the parents’ probable deaths before their son has reached adulthood. However, several of Jivuben’s relatives have offered to take in the child and raise it, should anything happen to his parents.

In 2019, we wrote about the world’s oldest woman to ever give birth, an Indian woman named Mangayamma, who managed to have a child at the ripe age of 74.

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