Health News

Woman Uses Ovary Frozen In Childhood To Make A Baby

Photo from Pixabay

A woman from London has just made medical history by having her ovary removed and frozen when she was nine years old, then using it to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby.

Moaza al-Matrooshi, 24 years old today, has a genetic condition called beta thalassemia, a blood disorder that had to be treated with sessions of chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant when she was a child. Because chemotherapy can damage the ovaries, her parents allowed the removal of her right ovary at the University of Leeds before she reached puberty, the New York Times reports.

On Tuesday, a baby boy was born to Matrooshi at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children in London. The medical community welcomed the news, hopeful that this success could open doors to restoring fertility in women who suffer from cancer and other illnesses while young.

Until now, young girls who have undergone and who are undergoing chemotherapy have to come to grips with the fact that they might not bear children as adults.

Helen Picton, a professor at the university and the lead in the preservation of Matrooshi’s tissue, explained that the outer part of the ovary that contained her eggs was cut into pieces. The pieces were then encased in liquid nitrogen, gradually cooled to a temperature of -320 Fahrenheit for 14 years.

At the time, the technology had not yet been proven. It was even more uncertain that a live birth would be possible from the tissue of a girl who had not yet reached puberty, Picton said.

But last year, surgeons in Denmark transplanted five of the thawed ovarian tissue pieces into Matrooshi. Four were grafted into her left ovary, which had already been damaged by chemotherapy, and one was grafted onto the side of her uterus.

Picton said, “We waited and the ovarian tissue started to get revascularized. The cryopreservation had protected the tissue’s integrity, and when the tissue was thawed, it was alive.”

Eggs began growing in the transplanted tissue over time, and Matrooshi’s hormones returned to normal levels, allowing her to ovulate. Doctors also stimulated the ovary for in vitro fertilization and took out eight eggs, implanting two embryos back in her uterus earlier this year.

Matrooshi said,

It’s like a miracle.

Sue Matthews, the gynecologist who took care of Matrooshi, said, “The pregnancy was totally uncomplicated and a healthy boy Rashid was delivered by C-section.” Both mother and child are doing well, and one embryo remains in storage so that the process can be repeated in necessary, Matthews added.

There have been around 20 women who have successfully given birth through this process, Picton said, but Matrooshi is the first to have had her tissue frozen at such a young age.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.