First ovarian transplant helps woman bear two kids

February 25th, 2010 - 4:03 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 25 (IANS) The world’s first-ever ovarian transplant has helped a woman conceive and deliver two healthy babies in Denmark.
The ovarian tissue had been removed and frozen during Stinne Holm Bergholdt’s cancer treatment and then restored once she was cured.

Following the transplant, she gave birth to a girl in February 2007 after receiving fertility treatment to help her become pregnant.

In 2008, she discovered she had conceived a second child naturally and gave birth to another girl in September that year.

Her doctor, Claus Yding Andersen, said: “This is the first time in the world that a woman has had two children from separate pregnancies as a result of transplanting frozenhawed ovarian tissue.”

“These results support cryopreservation of ovarian tissue as a valid method of fertility preservation,” said Andersen, professor of human reproductive physiology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen, Denmark.

“It should encourage the development of this technique as a clinical procedure for girls and young women facing treatment that could damage their ovaries,” he added.

Nine children have been born worldwide as a result of transplanting frozenhawed ovarian tissue, including Bergholdt’s two kids.

“Bergholdt gave birth to the first and the third babies and another woman delivered the second baby. This is the highest number of children born from one ovarian cryopreservation programme worldwide,” said Andersen.

“It is interesting to note that nearly all of the nine pregnancies have occurred in Europe, and so Europe is in the absolute forefront with this technology,” he said.

Bergholdt from Odense, Denmark, who is also a study co-author, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma when she was 27, in 2004.

Before she began chemotherapy, part of her right ovary was removed and frozen. Her left ovary had been removed some years before because of a dermoid cyst, a type of benign ovarian tumour.

Her cancer treatment was successful but, as expected, the drugs caused a menopause. In December 2005, six thin strips of ovarian tissue were transplanted back on to what remained of her right ovary, said a University Hospital release.

Her ovary began to function normally again and, after mild ovarian stimulation, she became pregnant and gave birth to her first daughter, Aviaja.

The findings were published in Thursday issue of Human Reproduction.

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