Soon, women will have a unique opportunity to conceive even after treatment for cancer. Scientists are already very actively developing ways to allow women who have had cancer to experience the happiness of motherhood.
The first such case occurred eight years ago, when one girl, before being treated for cancer, underwent a risky surgery to remove one of her ovaries, which were frozen after removal to preserve its quality. For many years, the girl fought the terrible disease, and now there are plans to transplant that ovary back into her body so that it can produce eggs and, accordingly, the girl was able to get pregnant. If this operation is successful, this girl will be the first in the world to become pregnant naturally after freezing her ovary and implanting it back. This development gives hope to thousands of girls who are currently undergoing aggressive chemotherapy to treat cancer and then cannot become mothers because of irreversible damage to the reproductive system.
A girl named Moase Alnatrushi was diagnosed with a rare but serious hereditary blood disorder. As part of her treatment, she underwent multiple courses of chemotherapy at a London hospital. The treatment had an effect, but the aggressive chemotherapy dealt an irreparable blow to her ovaries. After treatment, even a bone marrow transplant was planned, which was taken from her brother, since chemotherapy destroys bone marrow. The girl’s mother was afraid that her daughter would not be able to have children in the future after the treatment and did everything possible to find a way to solve the problem.
A way was found, and it seemed very unusual. In Lindsay, reproductive doctors operated on the girl before chemotherapy and removed one ovary. After undergoing treatment, the remaining ovary functioned only partially, leading to menopause for the girl at age 21. Last year, the previously frozen ovary was flown to Denmark, where it was implanted back into her body. Despite the weakened body after chemotherapy, the implantation was successful, and after some time the girl’s hormonal background returned to normal.
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The successful surgery itself is already giving hope to thousands of girls around the world who might be able to become pregnant even after cancer treatment.
Moasei underwent a cycle of in vitro fertilization to greatly increase her chances of a successful pregnancy. To do this, she underwent a course of hormonal stimulation so that a working ovary would produce more than 1 egg in a single menstrual cycle. The hormonal stimulation produced 8 eggs, and using her husband’s sperm, reproductive scientists created three complete embryos, which were frozen after they had grown a bit and proved viable. A few months later, the girl is scheduled to have one of these embryos transferred when her body returns to normal after hormonal stimulation. At this point the doctors can only make predictions, but they already think the procedure will be successful, because the girl is very young, and her body has a high chance of coping with the pregnancy.
Even though ovarian freezing gives a high chance of a further happy pregnancy, doctors recommend treating this method very carefully. The fact is that if all the rules and conditions were not followed during ovarian freezing, there is a significant risk that after ovarian implantation the patient will develop cancer again. At the moment, we can say that the procedure is so rare and unique that only about 20 children have been born with its help. Nevertheless, the very developments in this field give great hope to all those women who are currently battling cancer and plan to have children in the future.