In what can be termed as a medical breakthrough and the first ever case in the world, a 27-year-old Belgium woman gave birth to a baby boy using transplanted ovarian tissue which was frozen in her childhood.
Just before her 14th birthday, she was diagnosed with acute anaemia, needing powerful, ovary-damaging treatment. Before the therapy, her right ovary was removed and frozen in fragments in the hope that it could be used if she ever wanted to become a mother.
Her remaining ovary failed following the treatment, meaning she would have been unlikely to conceive without the transplant.
A decade later, when she expressed the desire to have a baby, surgeons in Belgium thawed some of the fragments and reimplanted them. Within five months, the tissue grew follicles with maturing eggs and started menstruating regularly but she could not conceive because of her partner having infertility issues.
But after some time, the woman became pregnant naturally with a new partner at the age of 27. The boy was born last November, weighing 3.1 kilogrammes.
“This is an important breakthrough in the field because children are the patients who are most likely to benefit from the procedure in the future,” said Isabelle Demeestere at Erasmus Hospital at Brussels Free University, whose team carried out the transplant.