Well, this is huge: A woman just had the first baby using an egg frozen in childhood
Moaza Al-Matrooshi believes her newborn baby boy is a miracle.
The 24-year-old made medical history as the world’s first woman to give birth with the tissue from an ovary frozen before she reached puberty. Al-Matrooshi, who is from Dubai, gave birth on Tuesday at Portland Hospital for Women and Children in London. “We’ve been waiting so long for this result — a healthy baby,” she told BBC News. It’s a major victory not only for the Al-Matrooshi family, but for the entire medical community.
Al-Matrooshi, who is from Dubai, was born with beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder. As a child she underwent chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant to treat the disorder. Her parents authorized the removal of her right ovary at the age of nine due to the damage chemotherapy does to the ovaries.
Her doctor, Sara Matthew, told BBC this will give hope to the girls and women who’ve had an ovary removed but still have a desire to have children. “This is a huge step forward,” Matthew told BBC. “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.”
Professor Helen Picton, who heads the division of reproduction and early development at the University of Leeds, froze the ovary. The University of Leeds’ researches have been at the forefront of ovarian tissue freezing. Picton says, “Worldwide more than 60 babies have been born from women who had their fertility restored, but Moaza is the first case from pre-pubertal freezing and the first from a patient who had treatment for beta thalassemia.”
Here’s how the ovary freezing went down according to BBC:
Fragments of her ovarian tissue were mixed with cryo-protective agents and slowly reduced in temperature to minus 196C, before being stored under liquid nitrogen.
Last year, surgeons in Denmark transplanted five slivers of the ovarian tissue back into her body – four were stitched on to her failed left ovary and one on to the side of her uterus.
Moaza had been going through the menopause. But after the transplant, her hormone levels began returning to normal, she began ovulating and her fertility was restored.
In order to maximise the chances of having a child, Moaza and her husband Ahmed underwent IVF treatment.
From the eight eggs that were collected, three embryos were produced, two of which were implanted earlier this year.
Matthews said within three months, Al-Matrooshi went from menopausal to having periods with normal ovary function. Isn’t science a beautiful thing?
The new mom is particularly thankful for her mother who suggested freezing her 9-year-old daughter’s tissue so she’d be able to have children in the future. She also has one embryo and two pieces of ovarian tissue in storage.
As for Al-Matrooshi, the first-time mom already has her sights set on having another baby.