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First Live Birth After Ovary Transplant Could Mean Older Women Having Babies Without In Vitro

Doctors in St. Louis successfully transplanted an ovary from one twin to another who had gone into early menopause at age 15. The transplanted ovary restored the woman’s full fertility and she gave birth at 38. According to researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, this is the first time an entire ovary has been transplanted and resulted in a live birth.

Dr. Sherman Silber of the Infertility Center of St. Louis said that this success could help two groups of women: those who have undergone chemotherapy and lost ovarian function, and those who want to extend the time they are fertile. For the latter group, a doctor could remove one of two ovaries when the patient is in her 20s and freeze it. Then, when she’s in her 40s, the doctor could transplant it back. Because so many women are having babies later in life, this could be away to avoid costly rounds of in vitro fertilization. Putting one ovary in the freezer might soon become as commonplace as depositing money in the bank for retirement. [Reuters]

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