Woman, 65, Pregnant With Quadruplets, But Annegret Raunigk’s Pregnancy Isn’t Natural

A woman, 65, is pregnant with quadruplets, and she was shocked when she found out the news. But Annegret Raunigk admits she did not naturally conceive these four new babies. In addition, the German senior citizen may soon be competing with the Duggar family since she already has 13 children from five different fathers, and seven grandchildren, so her new bit of drama could be called “17 children and counting.” But what does medical science and the law say about this pregnant 65-year-old lady?

In a related report by the Inquisitr, when Raunigk found out how many babies she had during an ultrasound she was shocked at first. Doctors recommended an abortion for at least one of the fetuses in order to increase the chances of her survival through the entire pregnancy. She decided against this option, but she also was thinking about giving some of the children to adoptive parents. In the end, she decided to keep all four of the quadruplets, saying, “I don’t think I will have any problems.”

Exactly how rare is it for doctors to see a 65-year-old woman pregnant? Via natural conception, the chances of having quadruplets is about one in 800,000, and the chances of having a set of identical quadruplets is one in 11 million to 15 million. The reason why Annegret Raunigk was able to defy these odds was because she was treated with fertility treatments by a doctor.

At this point, you are probably wondering if there are some sort of practical age limits on fertility treatments. There are, but it’s not necessarily the age of the mother based upon reports about fertility treatment.

“Age restrictions for IVF vary from clinic to clinic. In general, women older than age 40 have a markedly lower chance for a live birth compared with women younger than 40 years old. Age is probably the most important factor influencing the outcome of an IVF cycle. Many clinics will not treat patients older than age 42, and some malpractice carriers dictate that physicians not perform IVF on patients older than 43 years old with their own eggs because of the poor IVF delivery rates related to advancing age.”

In short, the success rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is largely dependent upon the age of the donor eggs, since women past the age of 40 tend to have a small chance of a successful pregnancy with their own eggs.

But the real issue is the law. There is already controversy over this case based upon the doctors allowing a 65-year-old woman to become pregnant with fertility treatments. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) recommends an age limit of 42 for IVF, while in the United States the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends an age limit of 55. Similarly, European countries have restrictions in regards to age limits and fertility treatments.

Do you think there should be age limits in regards to fertility treatments?

[Image via Welt]