A WOMAN HAS given birth after doctors restored her fertility using frozen ovary tissue removed when she was still a child.
The now 28-year-old woman was just 13 when she underwent surgery to remove the ovary before starting chemotherapy, which was likely to destroy her chances of having children.
She had been diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia at the age of five.
More than ten years later, surgeons in Belgium thawed some of the fragments from her ovary and re-implanted them with great success.
Several babies have previously been born from tissue taken from adult women but this is the first success with tissue removed before puberty.
Surgeons grafted four fragments to the remaining left ovary and 11 fragments at other sites. The patient started menstruating regularly five months later.
She ran into another problem when her partner turned out to be infertile but more than two years later she became pregnant with a new partner. Her healthy baby boy was born last November.
Professor Simon Fishel of Beacan Care Facility in Dublin said today this case is significant and “very important” as it highlights the future direction of human reproductive technologies.
“It further supports the need for the acceptance and wider development of freezing ovarian tissue. There has been some uncertainty as to whether ovarian tissue taken from young girls could later be used to produce fertile eggs, so today’s case is a very welcome development. There is huge potential to develop this further either for fertility preservation or indeed as a potential replacement of medication used post-menopausally,” he added.
- With reporting from AFP.