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The BBC's Emma Howard
"Most fertility clinics in Britain won't take anyone over fifty"
 real 56k

Euan Laird, Consultant at Horton Hospital
"It's fair to say it's been a controversial pregnancy"
 real 56k

Saturday, 26 May, 2001, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Woman has twins at 56
Derek and Lynn Bezant
Mrs Bezant received eggs fertilised by her husband
A 56-year-old woman has become the oldest mother of twins in the UK, after receiving fertility treatment.

Lynn Bezant, from Croughton in Northamptonshire, gave birth to the boy and girl by Caesarean section on Thursday.

The fertility expert who treated her has defended his decision, saying he was "delighted" by news of the birth to a "kind and loving" couple .

Mrs Bezant, who already has three adult children with her husband Derek, received donor eggs last year which had been fertilised with her husband's sperm.

Speaking after the birth, Mrs Bezant told the Mirror newspaper: "I have got no regrets, I never had at any stage, even when I was feeling nauseous."

The couple told a London fertility clinic they had always wanted a larger family but had failed after Mrs Bezant gave birth to stillborn twins and then suffered a miscarriage.

The non-identical twins, called David and Susan, were born by Caesarean section at 36 weeks into the pregnancy at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, Oxon.

David, who weighed 3lb 4oz and Susan who was 4lb 15oz are to stay in hospital until the end of the month.

Screening process

Professor Ian Craft, from the London Fertility Centre, who dealt with Mrs Bezant, said her case was subject to numerous reviews and consideration before the go-ahead was given for treatment.

He said: "It's always nice when you can go through a pregnancy at that age.

"It's wonderful news for them both."

But he warned there are various risks associated with motherhood in later life.

"He said: "If you are obese or have high blood pressure it can be risky.

"There is also a higher rate of miscarriage, but if you use a donor egg from a younger woman you will have a lower rate.

Mrs Bezant is not the oldest woman to have become a mother in recent years.

In 1995 Rosanna della Corte gave birth aged 62 in Italy, and in 1997 Liz Buttle from Wales became a mother at 60.

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See also:

13 Apr 01 | Health
Caesarean rate riddle
23 Mar 99 | Health
Oldest mother has second baby
31 Mar 99 | Health
IVF: the drawbacks
18 Feb 99 | Health
IVF advances on the way
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