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Woman gives birth after embryo frozen for 13 years

6 July 2005
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 316

A baby girl who spent 13 years as an embryo frozen at -235°C has been born in California. The birth of Laina Beasley set a new medical record in fertility treatment, as the longest time an embryo has been frozen and born healthy.

Laina's birth beat all the odds, overcoming a remarkable series of obstacles. Doctors put the chance of having a baby from a frozen embryo at about 20 per cent. About half the embryos do not survive the thaw, while others fail to attach to the uterus. In addition to these long odds, Laina also survived a fertility clinic scandal, an eight-hour drive across the baking California desert in a portable liquid nitrogen tank and her mother Debbie's near-fatal allergy to the fertility drug Lupron.

'I still look at her and can't believe it,' Debbie Beasley told the San Francisco Chronicle, which broke the story yesterday.

Debbie and her husband Kent first started on a course of IVF treatment in the early 1990s and in 1992 Debbie fell pregnant and gave birth to twins. Because the procedure only offered a 50 per cent chance of success, the Beasleys had 12 additional embryos frozen for later use.

In 1995, they discovered that their doctor, Ricardo Asch, had been taking eggs and embryos from his patients and putting them in other women or sending them to other research scientists. They sued the clinic and managed to recover eight of their 12 embryos; they were told that some had been sent to the East Coast for experiments.

Two of the embryos were then thawed and implanted in Ms Beasley's womb, but they were lost when she suffered her allergic reaction to Lupron. Seven years later, after she had recovered, the remaining embryos were implanted and Laina was born last February, five weeks premature, but healthy.

Baby 13 years in the making - Family's fertility ordeal ends with birth of girl conceived in same test tube as teenage twins
San Francisco Chronicle |  5 July 2005
Triplets born 13 years apart
The Times |  6 July 2005
Woman gives birth to triplet 13 years after siblings born
The Guardian |  6 July 2005
4 May 2005 - by BioNews 
A British woman is expecting the country's first 'frozen egg' twins, it was revealed last week. The 36-year-old woman is said to be five months pregnant, following the use of fertility treatments that included the freezing of one of her eggs. Doctors at the West Midlands-based Midland Fertility Services...
29 November 2004 - by BioNews 
The UK's first 'human egg bank' is set to open this week, according to an article published in the Mail on Sunday newspaper. It is said that the bank will store and offer for sale 'more than 1500 frozen eggs', which 'infertile couples can buy for their hereditary characteristics such...
16 September 2004 - by BioNews 
Italian researchers say that they have achieved 13 births using eggs that had been frozen and thawed before being fertilised and implanted into a woman. According to the researchers, who publish their findings in the September edition of the journal Fertility and Sterility, the study indicates that the promise of...
3 December 2001 - by BioNews 
Doctors at Midland Fertility Services in Birmingham, UK, have achieved a pregnancy using a human egg that had been frozen. This is the first time that such a technique has been successful in the UK, although it has worked in Singapore and Australia over a decade ago, but with very...
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