New mum Moaza Al Matrooshi cradles her baby boy thanks to a world first in fertility success.
The 24-year-old gave birth to her son after doctors used ovarian tissue preserved when she was just a nine-year-old to reverse early menopause.
Frozen ovarian tissue gives mum miracle baby
This is believed to be the first time doctors have successfully performed the procedure using prepubescent tissue, which was taken from Moaza before she underwent chemotherapy to treat a rare blood disease as a child, the BBC reports.
Born in Dubai, Moaza was diagnosed with beta thalassaemia, an inherited blood disorder that can be fatal if left untreated.
Tissue from her right ovary was preserved in the hope she would have a chance to have children later in life, given the high risk the chemotherapy would damage her ovaries.
Moaza’s doctor Sara Matthews told the BBC the exciting result offers hope to many others.
“This is a huge step forward,” she says.
“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.”
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) December 14, 2016
Dream come true
Moaza’s preserved ovarian tissue was stitched back into her body by surgeons in Denmark last year.
She had been going through early menopause but, after the transplant, her hormones began returning to normal and she began ovulating.
After undergoing IVF, she and her husband Ahmed received the exciting news she was pregnant and this week they finally welcomed their little boy at London’s Portland Hospital.
“I always believed that I would be a mum and that I would have a baby,” Moaza told the BBC.
“I didn’t stop hoping and now I have this baby – it is a perfect feeling.”
Australian project to follow
Fertility Society of Australia president, Professor Michael Chapman, told the ABC the London success was “great news” and revealed a similar project was underway here.
“We in Australia have been freezing such tissue now for around 15 years, but we’ve never had the opportunity to transplant it back into a young lady once she’s gone through puberty,” he says.
But, he expects they will soon get the chance as the girls, with tissue frozen, reach an age where they are ready to try for a family.
“This sort of technology is giving hope to girls suffering from cancer and gives them hope for future fertility,” he says.
“Childhood cancer is not curable, but the success rates are hugely better than they were 10 years ago.
“So these girls are looking to a future for their fertility, as well as survival.”
(image via Twitter BBC Fergus Walsh)