A woman who had her ovary frozen at the age of 9, after chemotherapy had started an early menopause has given birth to a healthy baby boy. The pioneering advance was made when doctors were able to revive the tissue taken from Moaza Al Matrooshi when she was 9 years old. Now at 24 she’s had the baby that would have seemed very remote back when the tissue was frozen.
The Dubai national gave birth to the boy at London’s privately run Portland hospital on Tuesday, she was born with a beta thalassaemia which is a blood disorder that is inherited. She underwent chemotherapy as a nine year old and her ovaries were damaged, the decision was taken to remove her right ovary in the hope that one day, if she wanted to, she would be able to have children. The opertaion to remove the tissue was undertaken at Leeds University hospital.
To get pregnant Al Matrooshi had to have chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in order to deal with the blood condition that she had. She was treated at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital, and doctors from Denmark managed to transplant tissue onto an existing, but malfunctioning ovary. She managed to regain periods, and was given IVF in order to maximise her chances of conceiving.
Similar operations have been done like this one, but fewer than 100 women worldwide have had their fertility returned to them. But it is believed that Al Matrooshi was the youngest donor, and certainly the only one who donated before puberty. This will give hope to many families whose children face an unpredictable future due to serious childhood illnesses.
Doctors from Edinburgh are also currently working on procedures in which testicular tissues can be stored, as a way to counteract infertility after cancer treatments. So far they’ve managed to store tissue from boys as young as one.
The procedure of storing ovarian tissue has become relatively popular in Europe as the technology exists to perform procedures routinely. Surely as technological advancements mature, as well as medical ones, these procedures which we now see as somewhat miraculous will indeed become relatively routine?
Al Matrooshi and her son are said to be doing well, and the mother is said to be keen on having another child in the future.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.