For the first time ever, a woman has given birth to a baby boy using ovarian tissue frozen when she was a child.
Moaza Al Matrooshi, 24, from Dubai, is believed to be the first woman to give birth after having an ovary frozen before the onset of puberty. Moaza was born with beta thalassaemia, a blood disorder that is inherited and can be fatal if not treated. Chemotherapy, which is harmful to the ovaries, was needed before she received bone marrow donated by her brother.
She credits her mother for having the foresight to have her ovaries frozen before she began treatment. Her right ovary was removed in an operation at a hospital in Leeds, from where the tissue was frozen.
She underwent a procedure in Denmark last year, where doctors transplanted five slivers of the ovarian tissue into her body. Four of the slivers were attached to her left ovary, with one attached to the side of her uterus.
Moaza had began menopause prior to the procedure, but found that her hormone levels had returned to that of a usual 24-year old after the procedure. Her fertility was restored and she began ovulating. She and her husband decided to pursue IVF treatment to maximise her chance of conceiving.
She still has one embryo in storage, with plans for another baby in the future.
Professor Helen Picton, head of the division of reproduction and early development at the University of Leeds, carried out the ovary freezing. She said of Moaza’s story: “This is incredibly encouraging. Moaza is a pioneer and was one of the first patients we helped back in 2001, before any baby had been born from ovary tissue preservation.”
Moaza’s story gives hope to many other girls and young women, who face the prospect of losing their fertility as a result of invasive methods of treatment for cancer and other diseases.