A woman has given birth after surgeons restored her fertility by implanting ovary tissue taken when she was a child.
The 24-year-old is thought to be the first in the world to have a baby after having an ovary frozen before the onset of puberty.
Moaza Al Matrooshi, who gave birth in London, said the arrival of her baby son was “like a miracle”.
The UK breakthrough will give hope to thousands of other girls who are unable to conceive because their reproductive organs have been damaged by treatment for cancer and other diseases.
I didn’t stop hoping and now I have this baby – it is a perfect feelingMoaza Al Matrooshi
The young woman, from Dubai, was born with beta thalassaemia, an inherited blood disorder that is fatal if untreated.
She needed chemotherapy, which damages the ovaries, before receiving a bone marrow transplant from her brother at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
So, before treatment, when she was nine years old, she had her right ovary removed in an operation in Leeds, where the tissue was frozen.
Specialists were able to preserve the organ, in the hope it would allow her to one day have a family.
The ovary remained frozen until last year when specialists arranged for it to be sent to Denmark, where the transplant took place.
After the procedure, doctors found that Al Matrooshi’s hormones returned to normal and her periods returned. To improve her chances of conceiving, she had IVF treatment with her husband Ahmed, which allowed doctors to implant two embryos into her womb earlier this year. “It’s like a miracle,” Al Matrooshi told the BBC. “We’ve been waiting so long for this result: a healthy baby.”
Doctors have performed similar operations before and about 60 women have had their fertility restored with frozen ovarian tissue since 2001. Last year a woman who had an ovary frozen at the age of 13 gave birth after doctors used the tissue to restore her fertility. Al Matrooshi may be the first to have had her tissue stored before she reached puberty.
Mrs Al Matrooshi, whose son was delivered at the privately-run Portland Hospital on Wednesday, said: “It’s like a miracle. We’ve been waiting so long for this result – a healthy baby.