IVF Breakthrough: No Ovaries? No Problem (Or, Well, Less of a Problem)
Having infertility issues is hard on anyone, but imagine if you were a cancer survivor, who was told that your life was saved, but at a price—you'd never be able to have children. That's what happened to a woman in Brisbane, Australia, only known as Vali. But luckily for her, her story has a very happy ending. She has made medical history. After having her ovaries removed during cancer treatment 10 years ago, she was thought to be infertile—as women usually are if they have no ovaries. But thanks to doctors, who had the foresight to take tissue from one of her ovaries and freeze it, she is now 26 weeks pregnant with twin girls!
During the two-and-a-half year procedure, the ovarian tissue was grafted in to her abdomen, a world's first. Seven months after the implantation, and a gentle cycle of IVF hormone treatment, two eggs were retrieved and transferred to the uterus, and both became viable embryos.
Previously, doctors had only been able to transplant the tissue back into the original position—which has resulted in 29 births worldwide. The head of ovarian tissue cryopreservation, Debra Gook, of the Royal Women's Hospital—where the procedure took place— in Melboune has said the technology breakthrough has opened the door for 300 women who have tissue stored at the hospital to have their own children.
This is huge news for women going through cancer procedures, where they would previously be left without a hope of carrying their own children. I'm so excited for all of those who will be able to experience childbirth thanks to this. What a life-changer!
TELL US: Could this new procedure help someone you know have children?
Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.