Page URL:

German grandmother, 65, pregnant with quadruplets

20 April 2015
Appeared in BioNews 798

A 65-year-old German woman is set to become the world's oldest mother of quadruplets.

Annegret Raunigk, a language teacher and mother of 13, went to a Ukrainian fertility clinic to undergo treatment using donated gametes because egg donation is illegal in Germany. It took over a year and a half to conceive and she is now in her 21st week of pregnancy, reports RTL.

In an interview with the German news broadcaster, Raunigk dismissed questions over whether her age would make caring for four infants difficult. 'I'm healthy now, why wouldn't I be in five years time?' she said.

Raunigk also said she was not concerned about being judged by others. Although she did not say in the interview exactly why she decided to have more children, RTL quoted her as explaining that it was because her youngest daughter wanted a new brother or sister.

Raunigk's oldest child is 44 and her youngest is nine years old – a birth that made headlines in Germany at the time. She also has seven grandchildren. Her children have five different fathers.

An interview with Raunigk was aired on German television last week. Speaking on the programme, her doctor, Kai Hertwig, explained that although she was healthy she would have to stay in the hospital until the birth as her age puts her at an increased risk of thrombosis.

Multiple pregnancies carry risks for all mothers, with babies more likely to be born early. There is also a higher chance of miscarriage and high blood pressure.

Talking to the Bild newspaper, Raunigk said that she had no reservations but was shocked when the doctors first told her that she was pregnant with quadruplets.

'Certainly that was a shock for me. After the doctor discovered there were four, I had to give it some thought to begin with,' she said, adding that she never considered reducing the number of embryos.

She also said that she had never planned on having so many children, and at first had only planned on having one, but had since found that they 'kept her young'.

The Mail Online reports that the current oldest woman to have given birth to quadruplets is Merryl Fudel from the USA, who was 55.

The world's oldest mother is reported to be Omkari Panwar, from India, who gave birth to twins at the age of 70 in 2008 after receiving fertility treatment (see BioNews 465).

In 2009, a woman who was once the world's oldest mother died of cancer that was diagnosed a few months before she was due to give birth (reported in BioNews 517). María Carmen del Bousada was 66 when she gave birth to twins after receiving fertility treatment.

In June last year, a woman from the USA became the world's oldest mother using her own eggs for IVF at 46 (reported in BioNews 756).

19 February 2018 - by Georgia Everett 
A woman in India has used the frozen sperm of her dead son in order to have grandchildren via a surrogate...
11 April 2016 - by Dr Linda Wijlaars 
A 55-year old woman from Boston, England, has become Britain's oldest mother of triplets...
7 September 2015 - by Ari Haque 
A woman in the USA who acted as a surrogate for her daughter has given birth to her biological granddaughter...
1 June 2015 - by Ana Ilic 
A grandmother of seven has become the oldest woman to give birth to quadruplets, at the age of 65...
20 April 2015 - by Dr Irenee Daly 
Postmenopausal mothers are often accused of having selfish reasons for having a child. Yet on closer examination, perhaps we need to question the rhetoric that postmenopausal motherhood is always unacceptable....
1 February 2010 - by Dr Anna Smajdor 
When Liz Buttle (then aged 60) became the UK's oldest mother in 1997, she was subjected to a storm of media criticism. Since then, debate over appropriate age limits for fertility treatment has shown no signs of abatement, while a growing number of postmenopausal women seek treatment in the UK and abroad....
18 November 2002 - by BioNews 
According to a study conducted at the University of Southern California (USC), post-menopausal women are equally as likely as younger women to conceive and give birth following egg donation. Dr Richard Paulson and colleagues, whose research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, studied 77 post-menopausal women...
18 November 2002 - by Juliet Tizzard 
In this week's BioNews, we report on a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which shows that postmenopausal women having egg donation are just as likely to conceive as younger women. Although we've known it for some time, the study confirms that it is the age...
29 January 2001 - by Juliet Tizzard 
I hadn't realised it, but apparently babies are the latest fashion accessory. The latest evidence of this is, we are told, the case of Lynne Bezant, who is pregnant with twins at the age of 56. As one might expect, Mrs Bezant's story provoked a rash of comments in the...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.