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First baby born using ovary frozen before puberty

19 December 2016

By Dr Rosie Gilchrist

Appeared in BioNews 882

A 24-year old has become the first woman to give birth after a transplant of ovarian tissue that was taken before puberty.

Moaza al Matrooshi from Dubai gave birth at the Portland hospital in London this week, following a transplant last year of one of her ovaries, which had been removed and frozen when she was nine years old.

Dr Sara Matthews, a consultant in gynaecology and fertility who treated al Matrooshi, told the BBC: 'This is a huge step forward. We know that ovarian tissue transplantation works for older women, but we've never known if we could take tissue from a child, freeze it and make it work again'.

Al Matrooshi was diagnosed as a child with beta thalassaemia, a hereditary blood disease that reduces a person's ability to carry oxygen in their blood. As there was a risk that the treatment – which included a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy – would leave her infertile, doctors removed one of her ovaries for cryopreservation.

In 2016, a Danish surgical team transplanted five slivers of the ovarian tissue back into her body. Although Al Matrooshi had been menopausal as a result of her chemotherapy, within three months her hormone levels returned to normal and her periods returned. Al Matrooshi and her husband then underwent IVF, which has now resulted in the successful birth of their healthy child.

'It's like a miracle,' Al Matrooshi told the BBC. 'We've been waiting so long for this result: a healthy baby.'

Professor Helen Picton, who leads the division of reproduction and early development at the University of Leeds, carried out the ovary freezing. Also speaking to the BBC, she said: 'This is incredibly encouraging. Moaza is a pioneer and was one of the first patients we helped back in 2001, before any baby had been born from ovary tissue preservation.'

'Worldwide more than 60 babies have been born from women who had their fertility restored, but Moaza is the first case from pre-pubertal freezing and the first from a patient who had treatment for beta thalassaemia,' said Professor Picton.

Commenting on the news, Professor Richard Anderson of the University of Edinburgh said: 'The effect of treatment for cancer and some other serious conditions on fertility is a major concern to those facing those treatments, and this provides a great boost showing a way forward for young girls.'

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

17 July 2017 - by Dr Rosie Gilchrist 
Freezing ovarian tissue may provide a viable option for women who want to preserve their fertility, according to a recent study...
10 July 2017 - by Mikey Lebrett 
Female cancer survivors are 38 per cent less likely to become pregnant compared with women in the general population, according to a study presented at the annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Geneva...
22 May 2017 - by Anna Leida 
Fully functional 3D-printed ovaries have been successfully implanted in mice for the first time - enabling them to have offspring...

18 July 2016 - by Rebecca Carr 
A cancer patient in Edinburgh has become the first woman in the UK to have a child following a transplant of her frozen ovarian tissue...
11 July 2016 - by Dr Rosie Gilchrist 
A two-year-old girl has become the youngest person to undergo a new technique that could preserve her fertility after chemotherapy...
21 March 2016 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A 23-year-old woman may soon become become pregnant after receiving an implant of an ovary that had been frozen since she was eight years old...
12 October 2015 - by Dr Rachel Brown 
A Danish study has reported that ovarian tissue transplants appear to be safe and can restore fertility in women who have undergone treatment for cancer, with around one in three procedures in young women leading to live births....
15 June 2015 - by Dr Julia Hill 
A woman who has received a transplant of ovarian tissue stored when she was a child has given birth. It is believed to be the first time ovarian tissue taken from young girl has led to a successful pregnancy...

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