Youngest Mother In Medical History Refuses to Reveal Truth Nearly 80 Years Later
In 1938, Lina Medina gave birth to her first child. The child’s birth is remarkable, not because of the baby itself, but because Medina became — and still is — the youngest mother in medical history at just 5 years old.
When Medina’s parents brought her to a hospital in Pisco, Peru, they feared the child was suffering from a massive tumor in her stomach. But doctors quickly discovered another diagnosis: Medina was pregnant and already in her third trimester. On May 14, 1939, Medina gave birth via c-section to a son. She was five years, seven months, and 21 days old.
How could such a young girl become pregnant? It’s both a story of a rare medical condition and a potentially tragic family situation.
When Medina was brought to the hospital, doctors were able to confirm she had “precocious puberty,” a genetic condition that results in early-onset puberty. According to the Mayo Clinic, it affects nearly 200,000 boys and girls per year.
Medina experienced her first menstrual cycle between the ages of 2 to 3 years old. By time she was 5, the youngest mother in medical history had fully developed breasts, pelvic widening, and advanced bone maturation.
That would explain how Medina could become pregnant, but not who the father might be. Due to her age, sexual abuse was the likely cause of her young pregnancy. Medina’s father was arrested on suspicion, but was released due to a lack of evidence.
Another possibility was that Medina was present during an indigenous celebration in the Andean villages, where “these often ended in orgies where rape was not uncommon.”
To this day, Medina has refused requests for interviews and has never publicly revealed the baby’s father. Some speculate that at such a young age, she may not actually know.
The baby, Gerardo, weighed six pounds at birth and was named after the doctor who delivered him. The young boy was raised believing Medina was his sister, but learned at age 10 that she was in fact his mother. Gerardo died at the age of 40 in 1979. Lina Medina is still alive today.
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