This Is the First Woman to Give Birth with an Ovary Frozen Before Puberty
Three cheers for science!
The only thing cooler than the human body (seriously, we are walking miracles, you guys) is the cool stuff science is helping us do with the human body.
More than 15 years ago, Moaza Al Matrooshi of Dubai had her right ovary removed and frozen after she was diagnosed with beta thalassaemia, an inherited blood disorder that's treated with chemotherapy, which can damage ovarian function. (You might not need to know about ovary freezing, but here's what you need to know about egg freezing.)
Doctors transplanted slivers of Al Matrooshi's preserved ovarian tissue onto the side of her uterus and her remaining ovary, which had stopped working. She began ovulating again, and underwent in vitro fertilization, which doctors hoped would increase her chances of becoming pregnant.
On Tuesday, Al Matrooshi (now 24 years old), gave birth to a healthy baby boy, becoming the first woman to give birth using an ovary that was frozen before puberty. (All the celebration emojis!!!) Before her, one Belgian woman had given birth in a similar scenario, but with an ovary that was frozen at age 13, after puberty had already started but before she'd gotten her first period. This is what gave doctors hope that Al Matrooshi would be able to conceive, even with an ovary frozen at such a young age.
"This is a huge step forward. 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," Sara Matthews, Al Matrooshi's gynecologist, told the BBC .
Al Matrooshi had been going through menopause, but when they returned her ovarian tissue to her body, her hormone levels began returning to normal, she began ovulating and her fertility was restored-as if she were a completely normal 20-something woman, Matthews told the BBC. That's right-an organ was completely removed, frozen, then slivers of it were put back in her body, and OMG! A baby! Pretty freakin' incredible, right? (Also incredible: the fact that you can now track your fertility in a fitness-tracker-like bracelet.)
"I always believed that I would be a mum and that I would have a baby," Al Matrooshi told the BBC. "I didn't stop hoping and now I have this baby-it is a perfect feeling."