Moaza Al Matrooshi, 24, is thought to be the first person “in the world” to deliver a baby after having an ovary removed and frozen before she went through puberty.
Al Matrooshi, originally from Dubai, was eight when she had the organ removed before undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant for her inherited blood disorder Beta Thalassaemia.
Her remaining ovary was only partially functioning following the chemotherapy and she went into early menopause. As she had not entered puberty, she could not have IVF treatment to allow her ovaries to produce eggs.
“Moaza has become the first woman in the world to give birth following the transplant of her own ovarian tissue removed before puberty,” Rob Smith, clinic director at CARE London, the fertility centre where Al Matrooshi was treated, told PA.
Doctors transplanted the frozen ovarian tissue back into Al Matrooshi when she was 21 to give her a chance of conceiving using her own eggs.
The new mum then underwent IVF treatment at CARE Fertility with her partner Ahmed and she gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday 13 December.
Smith said the birth represented a “landmark in fertility preservation treatment for young girls who risk irreversible ovarian damage following necessary treatments for diseases such as cancer”.
He said Al Matrooshi’s story was a “beacon of hope to all women who face the prospect of infertility due to invasive treatments at a young age” and sent his “warmest congratulations” to the new family.
“We believe this case is an incredible example of how far IVF has come,” he added.
“In the 15 years since Moaza’s ovary was frozen, the success rates for IVF have improved dramatically allowing her to have an excellent chance of achieving a successful pregnancy.”
Prof Adam Balen, chair of the British Fertility Society, said, according to PA: “This is a ground-breaking step in this area of fertility preservation and has the potential to help many young people who face cancer treatment preserve their fertility chances in the future.
“Storing ovarian tissue was pioneered 20 years ago and now the results are coming through. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can have serious side effects on the reproductive organs.
“Storing ovarian tissue and more recently storing testicular tissue is becoming more mainstream, but we need more centres providing this service and it is important that a multi-disciplinary team of experts is involved to ensure young people in particular are offered this as an option.”