A 68-year-old woman has given birth to twins at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria

While some believe it is the Lord's doing, others say science deserves the credit. The story of a 68-year-old woman who became pregnant for the first time and was delivered of a set of twins at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital ( LUTH) has evoked divided opinions on social media.

LUTH announced the news of the 68-year-old woman in a Twitter statement at the weekend.

Although the hospital did not reveal the name of the woman, it only shared her photo with her husband and their babies. The management of LUTH said she made medical history in LUTH, Nigeria and Africa by giving birth to a set of twins at that old age through In vitro fertilization (IVF).

A statement by Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of LUTH, Prof Wasiu Adeyemo said: "LUTH has successfully delivered a 68-year old primigravida (pregnant for the first time) with twin (a male and a female) gestation (pregnancy) following an IVF conception. She was delivered through an elective Caesarean section at 37 weeks gestation on Tuesday 14th April 2020.

"The IVF and embryo transfer were done at an outside facility. She was thereafter referred to LUTH at early gestation and subsequently managed till term. This is the first in LUTH, Nigeria and Africa! Mother and babies are well."

The IVF is one of the more widely known types of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It works by using a combination of medicines and surgical procedures to help sperm fertilize an egg, and help the fertilized egg implant in the uterus of a woman.

Neusroom correspondent Michael Orodare confirms that IVF has many steps, and it takes several months to complete the whole process. The process involves taking medication that makes several of the woman's eggs mature and ready for fertilization. Then the doctor takes the eggs out of the woman's body and mixes them with sperm in a lab, to help the sperm fertilize the eggs. Then they put one or more fertilized eggs (embryos) in an incubator and monitored for several days. Embryos that develop successfully in the incubator can then be transferred into the uterus.

A blood test, two weeks after the embryo transfer, can determine whether or not the transfer resulted in a pregnancy.

The Chief Executive Officer of Nordica Fertility Centre Lagos, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, in an article published in The Punch in September 2019, said one round of IVF does not usually produce result, the average fertility patient undergoes two or more cycles which makes the cost substantial.

According to Neusroom findings, a Single Cycle of IVF costs N870,000, Two Cycle Plan costs N1,260,000, while Three Cycle Plan costs N1,760,000.

In 2015, researchers in Spain found that the chances of women having a baby through IVF was only 1.3% for those aged 44 and above. This is expected to be so because female fertility comes to an irrevocable end with the menopause at a consistently average age of 51 years. This is why many netizens believe the case of the woman at LUTH is a miracle, but others disagreed.

Some also expressed concerns that the woman took a risk by going through the process at her age and suggested that she should have adopted a baby or opt for surrogacy (an arrangement whereby a woman agrees to bear a child for another person, who will become the child's parent after birth).

A Twitter user wrote: "The upper age limit for IVF treatment is usually 45, at most 50. I don't understand why a 68-year-old would risk it all, especially her life to have a baby through her own womb. She should have opted for surrogacy, or adopted a child. There are ethical issues involving IVF."

Another wrote: "Not sure if this is a thing of joy. Who is going to take care of these kids when the parents are gone – which might be soon? And if not, how would they take care of young kids in their old age? Why didn't they just adopt?"

"Thank GOD for safe delivery. They will grow to the glory of God. I pray for everyone looking for the fruit of the womb, as God made this possible, yours will come by the grace of God. They will come in peace without complications and bring you JOY," one Adeonipekun Oluyomi wrote in the comment section of the tweet.

His comment was countered by another user who said science should take the credit and not God.

"Thank the DOCTORS* for safe delivery. They will grow healthy. I wish for everyone looking for children, as SCIENCE* made this possible, yours will come too. They will come in peace without complications and bring you JOY. Scientist discovered the IVF process, made it possible & doctors carried it out. It became successful & you're attributing it to some god," the user tweeted.

Another Twitter user advised: "Congratulations Mama. But this risk. Mamas in waiting, please there are alternatives to this kind of risk please e.g. adopting,"

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