Selected news stories from the international press relating to Asian (In)Fertilities:
Pictured: world's oldest mother, 70, lies dying with baby at her side after risking her life to beat stigma of being barren - Daily Mail
(15 June 2010)
The world's oldest mother is dying just 18 months after giving birth at the age of 70. Rajo Devi Lohan says she is too weak to recover from complications after her IVF pregnancy. News about her condition came as it emerged that a 66-year-old has become the oldest woman in the world to have triplets.
Some experts fear Bhateri Devi could suffer the same fate as Mrs Lohan.
Both women received IVF treatment at the same controversial clinic in India after being unable to bear children throughout their married lives, which is regarded as a stigma in their culture.
Mrs Lohan, who gave birth to her daughter Naveen in November 2008, is now confined to bed and so frail she cannot lift the little girl.
But she has no regrets, saying: 'I dreamed about having a child all my life. It does not matter to me that I am ill, because at least I lived long enough to become a mother.
'The doctor never warned me it was dangerous to have a baby at my age. But I was healthy before, and now I am very sick.'
Mrs Lohan, now 72, and her husband Balla, 73, are poverty- stricken farmers from the village of Alewa in Haryana state, north of Delhi.
After nearly 54 years of marriage they were desperate to have a child so took out loans to pay for the £2,000 IVF treatment.
They have no understanding of the risks of giving birth so late in life. Mrs Lohan is now in such pain that her sister Omi, 60, has moved in to help look after Naveen.
'Omi brings Naveen to kiss me and I tell her I love her very much,' she said. 'Her first word was "Ma". I was so happy to hear that.'
Mrs Lohan suffered internal bleeding and her womb ruptured after the caesarean birth, but she ignored doctors' orders to rest in bed and instead squatted down every day to milk the family buffalo.
She also needed difficult surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. Her body has not recovered from the two operations and she has to take daily painkillers.
Mrs Lohan's doctor Anurag Bishnoi denied her illness was linked to her pregnancy.
'Even though Rajo's health is deteriorating, at least she will die in peace,' he said. 'She does not have to face the stigma of being barren.'
'She had an ovarian cyst that was causing her problems but that has now been removed. The IVF treatment is completely safe. Rajo is an old woman and her life expectancy was only about five to seven years.'
He stoked controversy by announcing yesterday that triplets had been born to Bhateri Devi at his National Fertility Centre in Hisar, which is also in Haryana.
After nearly 44 years as a childless wife, she gave birth to two dangerously underweight boys and a girl on May 29. The infants, who weighed 2lb 6oz, 2lb 4oz and 1lb 7oz, are in intensive care.
Dr Bishnoi boasted that Mrs Devi's government birth certificate proved she was born on May 21, 1944, making her 66.
'This is authentic and therefore she has become the oldest mother in the world to give birth to triplets,' he said.
'She has become a mother for the first time and conceived only in our third attempt through IVF.
'For the first two attempts, only two embryos were transferred in each cycle. But in the third attempt three embryos were transferred in her uterus, resulting in the birth of three children by caesarean.'
Mrs Devi's delighted husband Deva Singh, 64, brushed aside potential risks, saying: 'She has fulfilled my dream of having a child and gave my family an heir.
'She was my first wife and after she failed to conceive a child, I married twice but again I did not have any child from my other wives. I am very happy and I will provide all the best facilities to my children in the coming years.'
But a London-based fertility expert questioned the wisdom of helping such old women to give birth.
'Any woman over 70 putting their body through the rigours of birth is endangering themselves,' he said.
'Older mums usually require caesareans, which is obviously dangerous for women, but especially older women who are also prone to blood clots, and complications, such as internal haemorrhaging.'