A 56-year-old Italian woman from Treviso in Veneto has defied medical theory by giving birth to a baby without assisted fertility treatment.

According to reports in the Italian press, the unidentified woman gave birth to a girl, called Beatriz, at Angelo di Mestre hospital in late December.

She also has two other daughters, aged 34 and 28 years.

The reports, according to www.thelocal.it, said the child was born naturally, with one doctor telling Corriere: “It’s a record, a miracle.”

However doubts have been cast by medics over similar reports in the past.

Only a handful of women in their 50s have fallen pregnant without fertility treatment.

One of these is an Italian woman, Giovanna Cardi, who in 2010 gave birth to a baby girl, at the age of 54.

The oldest woman known to have had a child naturally was 59-year-old Dawn Brooke, from Guernsey in the