December 15, 2016 3:50 pm
Updated: December 15, 2016 3:55 pm

Woman becomes 1st to give birth using ovarian tissue frozen pre-puberty

WATCH: Moaza Al Matrooshi went from having a potentially fatal blood disorder, to chemo treatments, experiencing premature menopause then later giving birth thanks to fertility preservation.


When 24-year-old Moaza Al Matrooshi delivered her son in a London hospital Tuesday, she became the first woman to give birth after undergoing a procedure to restore ovarian tissue that was collected and frozen before she reached puberty.

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“This is a huge breakthrough in the field of fertility preservation,” said Prof. Helen Picton, division head of Reproduction and Early Development at the University of Leeds.

Matrooshi, who is from Dubai, was born with a blood disorder called beta thalassemia. To treat the potentially fatal disease, she had to undergo chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant as a child.

READ MORE: What it’s like to struggle with unexplained infertility in your 20s

In order to keep her fertility options open, Matrooshi’s right ovary was removed and frozen when she was nine years old. Picton froze the tissue in 2001.

“Her parents decided – very courageously – that they were very keen to do this. It’s a very positive technology. It’s investing in your child’s future, effectively,” said Picton.

According to Picton, the chemotherapy destroyed Matrooshi’s left ovary which kickstarted early onset menopause in her 20s. But when her frozen ovarian tissue was replanted in August 2015 in Denmark, she began ovulating again within three months.

READ MORE: How these 6 major breakthroughs, advances overcame barriers to fertility

Al Matrooshi and her husband, Ahmed, underwent IVF to increase their chances of conceiving. She gave birth to their son, Rashid, with the help of consultant-gynecologist Dr. Sara Matthews.

“This catapults the only option for children who need these treatments to be able to safely have a family later in life and reverse the early menopause that is invariably induced by such treatments,” Matthews told Global News.

“I always believed that I would be a mum and I would have a baby,” Al Matrooshi told the BBC. “I didn’t stop hoping and now I have this baby. It’s a perfect feeling.”

Matthews said the couple still has one viable embryo in storage which could later result in another pregnancy.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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