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Infertile woman to give birth following ovary transplant

A British woman will be the first to give birth following a full ovary transplant.
A 38-year-old woman from London who was declared sterile at 15 is due to give birth this week after receiving a new ovary transplanted from her identical twin sister and becoming pregnant.

After going through the menopause while still a teenager, the woman thought that she had no chance of having her own baby, but the revolutionary new procedure will give hope to thousands of women who long to become pregnant.

Among those who will benefit include the 100,000 British women who have gone through an early menopause.

Women whose fertility has been impaired by cancer treatment will also be offered a chance of experiencing motherhood.

Dr Sherman Silber at the Infertility Centre of St Louis in Missouri carried out the procedure and he has been specialising in transplants between identical twins for a number of years.

The woman's sister, who already has two children, donated one of her ovaries, which was removed using keyhole surgery.

Eggs from the donor ovary are equivalent to those produced by the patient herself because both women are genetically identical.

Three months after the transplant, the patient experienced her first period in 22 years, which indicated that she was ovulating normally and she soon became pregnant.

"To our knowledge, this is the first successful human intact whole ovary transplant leading to healthy pregnancy," said Dr Silber, who presented his results at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's annual meeting in San Francisco.

"This sets the stage for a new chapter in reproductive organ transplantation."

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