In February 2011 a 66-year-old woman Valentyna Pidverbna from Chernihiv City (north of Ukraine) gave birth to a healthy girl weighing 3.3 kg and being 54 cm height. The woman was impregnated by artificial insemination in the Institute of Genetics of Human Reproduction in Kiev and it took three IVF cycles to achieve positive result.
There are probably only few women over the age of 60 in the world who have done this before:
In 2008 a 70-year-old Indian woman Omkari Panwar has become the world?s oldest mother after giving birth to twins. Romanian Adriana Iliescu, who gave birth to a daughter in 2005 at the age of 66, is the world’s previous oldest mum. Then, in 2006, Carmela Bousada of Spain, who was nearly 67, took the title. In 2009 a 66-year-old Elizabeth Adeney from Britain experienced the joy of maternity.
All these ?records? also became possible due to applying modern in vitro fertilization technology. By the way, Elizabeth Adeney underwent IVF treatment and delivered in one of Kiev clinics, since fertility clinics in Britain (and the United States) do not offer IVF treatment to women older than 50.
As for Ukrainian legislation in the field of medically assisted reproduction, the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 771 of 12/23/2008 approving ?Instruction on Procedures for Assisted Reproductive Technology? sets no age limits on artificial insemination.
Whether senior woman should be allowed to attempt pregnancy by virtue of IVF treatment in Ukraine is now issue of considerable debate among fertility specialists, politicians and the public.
Objectively speaking, there are some social and biological reasons to set certain limits. World Health Organization warns that late pregnancy is associated with special medical risks, including possible deformation of the foetus and genetic diseases, as well as difficulties during labour. Such complications as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, placental problems, premature birth, stillbirth are more common for women over 35. The risk of miscarriage also increases with age. Studies suggest that about 10% of recognized pregnancies for women in their 20s end in miscarriage. The risk rises to about: 20% at ages 35 to 39, 35% at ages 40 to 44; more than 50% by age 45. Moreover, bringing up a child can be very demanding, especially when the child gets to 18 and the parents are over 60 and even older!
Taking into account the above, the Ukrainian Association of Reproductive Medicine appeals to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine with a proposal to amend the ?Instruction on Procedures for Assisted Reproductive Technology? to the effect that these technologies shall be applied to treat women under the age of 51, unless contraindications to getting pregnant exist.
Further, the Ukrainian Parliament is considering the bill draft on changes to the Law of Ukraine ?Fundamentals of Health Legislation of Ukraine? suggesting that the age of the woman who undergoes artificial insemination and embryo implantation program in Ukraine should not exceed 49 years as of the date of embryo transfer. In exceptional circumstances the upper age limit may be extended upon motivated conclusion of the special committee created by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
In this regard Ukrainian specialists follow the logic that the life expectancy average for a Ukrainian woman is about 67-69 years, so if a woman is able to become pregnant using in vitro fertilization at 49-51, she could still watch her child grow into an adult.