An infertile Alabama woman has given birth to a healthy baby after receiving a transplanted ovary from her twin sister, the first case in which such a transplant has unequivocally given rise to a birth.
The achievement is considered a significant step toward restoring fertility in women who have undergone cancer therapy.
Stephanie Yarber, 25, of Muscle Shoals gave birth to a healthy girl a little more than a year after undergoing the transplant, researchers said in a report published online yesterday by The New England Journal of Medicine.
Last year, Belgian researchers reported a successful birth in a woman whose ovarian tissues had been removed and frozen during chemotherapy and then re-implanted. But critics have argued that it was equally likely that the birth arose from a spontaneous recovery of her ovaries after the treatment.
The circumstances of the new pregnancy are unquestionably unique - an infertile woman receiving an ovary from her reproductively normal, identical twin.
But experts argued that the procedures used in the transplant are identical to those that would be used in re-implanting a woman's own reproductive tissues after chemotherapy.