Medical Wonder Woman whose ovary was removed at 15 gives birth after successful transplant

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Details of the case were published on Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction.

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Haven had her ovary removed when she was just 13, a woman in Belgium has become the first in the world to give birth to a baby using transplanted ovarian tissue frozen when she was still a child.

The 27-year old removed the ovary in her teens in order to undergo invasive treatment for sickle cell anaemia and after the treatment, her remaining ovary failed making it unlikely to conceive without a transplant.

BBC reports that at the time, she emigrated from the Republic of Congo to Belgium where doctors decided her disease was so severe that she needed a bone marrow transplant using her brother's matching tissue.

Before the transplant though, they needed to give her chemotherapy to disable her immune system and stop it from rejecting the foreign tissue, a procedure that can destroy ovarian function, so they removed her right ovary and froze tissue fragments.

Though she had started showing signs of puberty at the time, she had not yet started seeing her period.

10 years after the treatment, the woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, chose to have a baby so doctors grafted four of her thawed ovarian fragments onto her remaining ovary.

5 months later, she began to menstruate and became pregnant naturally at the age of 27, giving birth to a baby boy in November 2014.

Details of the case were published on Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction. It is hoped by experts that this procedure could eventually help other young patients.

Isabelle Demeestere, the gynaecologist who led the treatment to restore the patient's fertility, however warned the procedure would only be suitable for patients at high risk of ovarian failure, as the procedure itself carries risks such as damaging the removed healthy ovary or reintroducing malignant cells at the time of transplant.

 

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