Skip to content

    Ovarian Cancer Health Center

    Font Size

    Baby Born After Ovarian Transplant

    French Doctors Report Successful Pregnancy, Delivery After Two-Step Ovarian Transplant in Sickle Cell Anemia Patient
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    July 1, 2009 -- French doctors report that a woman who banked her ovarian tissue before sickle cell anemia treatment had a baby girl after getting her ovarian tissue transplanted back into her.

    The woman, whose name has not been made public, gave birth on June 22. "Mother and baby are doing well," Pascal Piver, MD, says in a news release.

    Because she had sickle cell anemia and needed drugs to prepare for a bone marrow transplant, the woman had doctors remove and save her ovarian tissue. That had put her into menopause for two years.

    Piver's team first transplanted 10 tiny pieces of her ovarian tissue, waited three days, and then transplanted the rest of her ovarian tissue. The idea behind that two-step process is to improve the growth of new blood vessels to the transplanted ovarian tissue.

    The woman became pregnant without in vitro fertilization, according to a report that Piver and colleagues presented in Amsterdam at the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).

    A second patient, who had a blood vessel disease that required immune-suppressing medication, got the same surgery and, after an ectopic pregnancy, is pregnant again, Piver says.

    Quick Freeze

    At the ESHRE meeting, another team of researchers reported that when it comes to freezing ovarian tissue from women with cancer, a quick-freeze method appears to be better than the standard slower method -- and almost as good as fresh ovarian tissue.

    That finding came from a study of 15 young women with cancer who had their ovaries removed. Some of the patients had their ovarian tissue quickly frozen (a process called vitrification); others got the standard, slower freezing method.

    For comparison, the researchers -- who included Sherman Silber, MD, of the St. Louis Infertility Center in St. Louis -- also studied nine women who got fresh ovarian tissue transplants from their identical twins.

    The result: Eggs from the quickly frozen tissue were as viable as eggs from the fresh ovarian tissue, and both of those methods yielded more viable eggs than the slow-freeze method.

    Today on WebMD

    Ovarian cancer illustration
    What are the symptoms?
    doctory with x-ray
    Get to know the symptoms.
    cancer cell
    HPV is the top cause. Find out more.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
    Integrative Medicine Cancer Quiz
    Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
    Screening Tests for Women
    Graphic of ovaries within reproductive system
    Ovarian Cancer Marker
    Pets Improve Your Health
    Vitamin D
    Healthy meal with salmon