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15th Dec 2016

Woman Gives Birth To Baby After Having Ovarian Tissue Frozen As A Child

Alison Bough

A 24-year-old woman has given birth to a healthy baby boy at London’s private Portland hospital after using frozen ovarian tissue removed when she was jus nine.

The BBC have reported that Moaza Al Matrooshi is thought to be the first woman in the world to have a baby after having an ovary frozen before the onset of puberty.

The report states that last year a woman in Belgium also gave birth after using ovarian tissue frozen when she was 13. However, unlike Moaza, she had begun going through puberty when her ovary was removed.

Mrs. Al Matrooshi told BBC news:

“It’s like a miracle. We’ve been waiting so long for this result – a healthy baby”

The new mum, who is from Dubai, was born with a genetic blood disorder called ‘beta thalassaemia’ that can cause ovarian failure, significant fertility problems and can be fatal if left untreated. The Northern California Comprehensive Thalassemia Centre say that in the past, pregnancy was uncommon and often discouraged in those with the condition because of the high risk involved. Now, with improved treatment including transfusion and chelation, pregnancies are relatively common. Both spontaneous pregnancies and IVF have been successful and pregnancies even in patients who aren’t having periods have been reported. Experts note that pregnancy in a patient with thalassemia is high-risk and requires multidisciplinary management as deaths due to cardiac failure are not uncommon.

Moaza Al Matrooshi’s doctor, Sara Matthews, a consultant in gynaecology and fertility, said she was delighted by the scientific advance:

“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.

Within three months of re-implanting her ovarian tissue, Moaza went from being menopausal to having regular periods again. She basically became a normal woman in her 20s with normal ovary function.”

Moaza required chemotherapy as a child (which damages the ovaries) and also received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. Prior to treatment, when she was just nine years of age, her right ovary was removed and the tissue was frozen. The news report states that Danish surgeons transplanted five slivers of the ovarian tissue back into the young woman’s body last year.

Although Moaza had already gone into menopause, the successful transplant meant that her hormone levels began returning to normal and she began to ovulate. After IVF treatment, Moaza had eight eggs collected, from which three embryos were produced, with two implanted earlier this year. The overjoyed mama said:

“I always believed that I would be a mum and that I would have a baby. I didn’t stop hoping and now I have this baby – it is a perfect feeling.”

Huge congratulations to Moaza and Ahmed. What a miracle baby!

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