It is not the first time that Indian fertility treatments have reached the news, in countries all over the world. Do you remember the couple that was so desperate for a son that they went in for IVF at the ripe old age of 70? The same fertility clinic who treated this woman, Rajo Devi Lohan, now brings us triplets, from the womb of a 66 year old woman. Bhateri Devi was said to be ecstatic at finally becoming a mother. I have to say that this brings the concept of trying to conceive for a long time to a whole other level. The oldest mother to triplets anywhere gave birth by c-section to babies who were, judging by their weights (between 2lb 6oz and 1lb 7oz), born very prematurely.
What do you think about giving IVF to women who are well past their natural fertility window? Do you think it raises any ethical questions? Who is responsible, and should IVF treatments be regulated? How old is too old for IVF? Did the National Fertility Centre in Northern India act wrongly in implanting three embryos into this woman s uterus? While I understand this woman s wish to become a mother, and her husband s wish to produce a heir, stories such as these always sadden me. Bhateri Devi was quoted as saying that she would give all her love and energy to her new offspring. I have no doubt about that, but how much energy will she really have? Will her children still have a mother when they are past their teens? Or will they be mothering their mother?
In my humble opinion, nature still knows better than us, humans. There is a very good reason why women in their 60s cannot normally conceive naturally. I believe that fertility treatments in India have got out of hand, and regulation would be welcome. But for the time being, let s just hope that these new triplets survive their NICU stay.