As recently reported in BBC News and Human Reproduction, a mother in Denmark has become the first in the world to give birth to a second child after an ovary transplant operation. Stinne Holm Bergholodt was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at age 27 in March 2004. She made the decision to freeze her ovarian tissue before cancer treatment to allow her the option to pursue biological motherhood in the case of infertility. A year and a half later, Mrs. Bergholdt’s ovarian tissue was transplanted back into her own body with the hope that this procedure would restore her reproductive capacity. Following mild ovarian stimulation, Mrs. Bergholdt gave birth to normal healthy girl, Aviaja, in February 2007. Assuming she would need ovarian stimulation for a subsequent pregnancy, Mrs. Bergholdt returned to her fertility clinic in January 2008, expressing her wish for another child. To her surprise, a pregnancy test turned out positive, indicating that she had already conceived naturally, without any treatment. Her second daughter, Lucca, was born in 2008.

Mrs. Bergholdt and her two children, both born from a single ovarian tissue transplant

This is the first documented report of a woman who has given birth to two healthy children (in two separate pregnancies) as a result of one ovarian tissue transplantation. This study demonstrates that transplantation of just six pieces (around 15-20% of one entire ovary) of ovarian cortex tissue can result in the production of fully mature oocytes for a period exceeding 4 years.  Taken together, these results extend the number of children born as a result of ovarian tissue transplant to nine globally and encourage a continued effort to develop this technique as a valid method of fertility preservation.

To learn more about fertility preservation options at Northwestern (including ovarian tissue transplant), click here

The BBC article chronicling this story can be found here

The article in Human Reproduction can be found here