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Baby born from ovary frozen during mother’s childhood


Brussels: In Belgium a woman is reported to have given birth to a baby using transplanted ovarian tissue that frozen when she was still a child. Thus she became the first woman in the world to achieve this unique feat.
The ovary of the 27-year-old was removed at age of 13, enabling her to undergo invasive treatments for sickle cell anemia. Her remaining ovary was become ineffective following the treatment. Hence, it was unlikely for her to conceive a child without the support of an ovarian transplant. Doctors are of the hope that this procedure could eventually help such other young patients.
The woman thus gave birth to a healthy boy in November 2014, and details regarding this were published in the journal ‘Human Reproduction’. The woman, who has been asked to remain anonymous, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at the age of five.
She was emigrated from the Republic of Congo to Belgium where the doctors diagnosed her disease as so severe and advised for a bone marrow transplant using her brother’s matching tissue. But before the bone marrow transplant, it was inevitable for her to undergo chemotherapy to disable her immune system and stop rejecting the foreign tissue.
During Chemotherapy, there were possibilities to get the ovarian function damaged, so the doctors removed her right ovary and instantly started freezing its tissue fragments. At that time, she was showing signs of puberty, but had not yet started her periods. Her remaining ovary was diagnosed as failed at the age of 15.
Ten years later, she wanted to conceive a baby, so doctors grafted four of her frozen ovarian fragments onto her remaining ovary and 11 fragments onto other sites in her body. Thus, after five months, the patient started menstruating spontaneously and became pregnant naturally at the age of 27.
The gynecologist, Dr Isabelle Demeestere who led the treatment to restore the patient’s fertility has expectation that the procedure could help other young women having ovarian failure. The doctor was pointing out the increasing number of long-term survivors of hematological diseases diagnosed in childhood.
About 40 babies have already been born across the world using frozen ovarian tissue taken from older women.


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