Woman gives birth after having ovary tissue removed and frozen at 13
A woman, born in the Republic of Congo, has given birth to a healthy child after having her ovary removed and frozen at the tender age of 13.
Diagnosed with sickle-cell anaemia at the age of 5, the woman went under chemotherapy prior to a bone marrow transplant, which can permanently destroy ovaries.
At just 13-years-old, and with the fertility complications that doctors knew could arise later in the woman’s life in mind, her doctors decided to remove part of her right ovary, freezing the tissue fragments with the aim to transplant it back if she desired to have children later in life.
At 15, the woman’s remaining ovary failed, and doctors began to give her hormone replacement therapy to induce menstruation.
Ten years later , doctors led by Dr Isabelle Demeestere, a gynaecologist at Erasme Hospital at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, stopped her hormone replacement therapy with the intention of restoring her fertility.
Doctors transplanted the tissue that was removed when she was 13 and the woman was able to conceive, and has now given birth to a healthy baby boy 14 years after the ovarian tissue removal.
Commenting on the groundbreaking results, Dr Demeestere said: “This is an important breakthrough in the field because children are the patients who are most likely to benefit in the future. When they are diagnosed with diseases that require treatment that can destroy ovarian function, freezing ovarian tissue is the only option for preserving their fertility.”
This is the first case in which ovarian tissue has been removed in a pre-pubescent girl and transplanted successfully resulting in pregnancy.