There's a first for everything! A team of Australian doctors helped a woman conceive by using ovarian tissues grafted into her abdomen. The procedure is the first of its kind — and absolutely groundbreaking.
The mom-to-be, identified only as Vali, had the ovarian tissue frozen seven years ago when her second ovary was removed due to cancer. Now, she's 25 weeks pregnant — with twins — thanks to fertility preservation scientists and medical staff at the Melbourne IVF and the Royal Women's Hospital in Australia. Just seven months after the graft was implanted into Vali's abdominal wall (a surgical operation in which a piece of healthy skin is transplanted to a new site on the body), two follicles developed following a gentle cycle of IVF hormone treatments. From there, two eggs were retrieved and then transferred to the uterus.
Associate professor Kate Stern told HealthlandTIME.com, "Ultrasound tests have shown that the twin pregnancy is proceeding normally. Although 29 births around the world have been achieved by grafting ovarian tissue back into the pelvis, this is the first sustained pregnancy through a graft elsewhere in the body." She added, "This pregnancy provides unequivocal evidence that normal ovarian function and pregnancy can occur at a non-ovarian site."
Of the amazing news, Vali said, "It's two girls. We're pretty excited. A bit freaked out." Vali also said that she was lucky that her doctor offered her an opportunity to freeze tissue. Though she did not fully understand the implications of what the doctors were doing at the time, she did hope that it would one day allow her to have a baby. Daddy-to-be, Dean, said, "It's almost science fiction... it's phenomenal."
Do you think this medical breakthrough will help more women conceive?