A 27-year-old woman in Belgium, gave birth to a baby using a frozen ovarian tissue. The tissue is hers. It was removed when she was 13 years old, before she started treatment for a disease called sickle-cell anaemia. This is the first baby in the world born on this way. Only one ovary was removed. Another failed during her treatment. This means that she could conceive only with transplant. Experts are hoping that this treatment can help other women, who have a problem conceiving. The woman gave birth in November, last year. The baby is a healthy boy.
The woman is anonymous. She was diagnosed with sickle-cell anaemia when she was 5 years old. Her home country was Republic of Congo. But she immigrated to Belgium. The disease was too severe, so she needed a bone marrow transplant, from her brother. Before transplant, doctors had to give her chemotherapy, in order to weaken her immune system, so it doesn’t attack new bone marrow. Because chemotherapy can destroy ovarian function, doctors removed and frozen her right ovary. At that time, she was only 13 years old.
At age 27, she decided to have a baby. Doctors grafted 4 pieces of her frozen ovary to her remaining ovary, and 11 fragments in her body. She started menstruating 5 months after the procedure, and became pregnant.
The treatment was led by Dr Isabelle Demeestere. She said that this treatment can help other women to have a baby. But, this procedure requires more research and further testing. Doctors still don’t know can they remove ovary and use it for this purpose, from very young girls, who didn’t start with puberty.