Moaza al Matrooshi, 24, gave birth in London on Tuesday, reported the BBC, welcoming a son

By Lindsay Kimble
December 15, 2016 12:41 PM

A Dubai woman who battled childhood cancer and decided to freeze her ovary tissue gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.

Moaza al Matrooshi, 24, may be the first woman to successfully conceive from ovary tissue extracted prior to puberty, reported the BBC.

At 9, Matrooshi found out she would need chemotherapy in order to receive a bone-marrow transplant that would help treat a blood disorder, beta thalassaemia, said the Post. Thinking of the future and potential infertility, Matrooshi’s family had her right ovary removed and frozen.

In the 15 years that followed, parts of the ovarian tissue were mixed with cryo-protective agents and remained stored under liquid nitrogen, reported the BBC. Last year, multiple slivers of the ovarian tissue were surgically put back into Matrooshi’s body by Danish surgeons. Four slivers were stitched onto Matrooshi’s left ovary, and one was put on the side of her uterus.

“Within three months of re-implanting her ovarian tissue, Moaza went from being menopausal to having regular periods again,” her physician, Dr. Sara Matthews, told the BBC.

After her fertility returned to normal, Matrooshi and her husband underwent IVF treatment. She had two embryos implanted earlier this year.

Matthews said, “This is a huge step forward. 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.”

While more than 60 babies have been born worldwide using methods of fertility restoration, Professor Helen Picton of the University of Leeds’ reproduction and early development division told the BBC, “Moaza is the first case from pre-pubertal freezing and the first from a patient who had treatment for beta thalassaemia.”

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Picton, who froze Matrooshi’s ovary in 2001, told the Post that the success would likely lead to further pregnancies using tissue frozen at a young age.

“It’s like a miracle,” Matroshi told the BBC. “We’ve been waiting so long for this result — a healthy baby.”