Yet thanks to modern medicine -- in particular, in vitro fertilization -- an Indian woman in her 70s recently became a first-time mother to a healthy baby boy.
Mother Daljinder Kaur and her husband, 79-year-old Mohinder Singh Gill, have been married for over 46 years. Throughout that time, they struggled with infertility.
"It was embarrassing to not be able to produce a child, no doubt," the father said. After retiring from their careers in litigation and seeing advertisements for the IVF process, they decided to give it one more go.
While the couple is thrilled at their success, they attributed their good fortune to faith.
"God has a plan for everything," Kaur said. "Who would have thought I could have a baby at my age? It happened because God willed it. If we die, God will have a plan for taking care of our son."
The news marks Kaur as the world's oldest woman to ever give birth. With the IVF process she received, she joins 7.4 million other women around the world -- 11.9% in total -- who have undergone any kind of infertility treatments in their lifetimes.
However, some controversy has also been raised surrounding the ethics of the IVF process for post-menopausal women. "We condemn this totally," said Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a leading gynecologist in India. "With science, you can make a 90-year-old person pregnant, what's the big deal? The question is not about technicalities, it's about ethics."
Yet the reproductive center where Kaur received treatment defended their actions.
"Reproduction is a fundamental right. The government cannot prevent that," said Dr. Anurag Bishnoi of India's National Fertility Centre. Bishnoi claims he tried to dissuade Kaur from the treatments, but she persisted.
The couple named their son Arman, the Hindi word for "wish" or "desire."
"I fel blessed to be able to hold my own baby. I had lost hope of becoming a mother ever," Kaur said. "God heard our prayers. My life feels complete now."