Giving hope to young cancer victims and survivors, a woman has given birth to a baby boy after doctors restored her fertility using frozen ovary tissue preserved when she was still a child. how is this possible? The woman (who wishes to remain anonymous) was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia as a child, prompting a move from the Republic of Congo to Belgium to seek treatment. Doctors proposed a bone marrow transplant, and she then needed chemotherapy so that her body wouldn’t reject the foreign tissue (BBC). Since chemotherapy can impede ovarian function, her right ovary and tissue fragments were surgically removed at the age of 14.
The patient had not yet began menstruating, so doctors decided to freeze (or ‘cryopreserve’) her ovarian tissue to hopefully revive her fertility later on- which it did, according to a study published in Human Reproduction. When she wanted to have a child, doctors grafted ovarian fragments onto her remaining ovary and later on, she became pregnant naturally at the age of 27. The procedure’s success could help other survivors who have undergone the process of tissue cryopreservation, thereby preserving their fertility.