First Baby Born from Frozen Ovary Collected in Childhood
A Belgian woman gave birth in November to a baby using her own transplanted ovarian tissue that had been collected when she was 13. This is the first case of a successful natural childbirth in a case where the ovary was collected in childhood. There have been successful cases of successful birth from mature ovary transplantation.
The woman, unnamed, was treated for sickle sell anemia, treatment requiring a bone marrow transplant following chemotherapy to suppress her immune system to ensure the success of the transplant. Knowing that chemotherapy can permanently damage the ovaries, doctors removed and froze one prior to treatment. After the treatment, her remaining ovary failed when she was 15 years old.
A decade later the patient decided she wanted to have children. Doctors grafted frozen ovarian fragments to her damaged ovary and to other sites of her body. Shortly therafter she began menstruating and was able to conceive naturally.
The details of this case were published today in the journal Human Reproduction. Gynocologist Dr Isabelle Demeestere thinks that this type of procedure could be more widely adopted as children diagnosed with other haematological diseases are surviving long-term in increasing numbers.
Not every patient may be a good candidate for this type of procedure; this patient had entered puberty though she had not reached menstruation. Younger girls may not have ovaries developed enough to successfully function after the transplant, but this case will serve as proof of concept that procedures like these could be more widely implemented to help survivors of these types of diseases.