Each year, about 4,500 women in Australia become pregnant with twins. Twenty-four-year-old Vali can count herself among them — her pregnancy, however, is a little different. Seven years ago, she had both her ovaries removed as part of a treatment for ovarian cancer, reports The Age.
In a medical first, Vali's fertility team at The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne implanted frozen ovarian tissue that had been removed seven years earlier onto her abdominal wall. They were able to stimulate the tissue to produce two eggs, which were then fertilized in vitro, and implanted into her uterus to gestate.
The procedure was made possible because Vali, whose surname is being kept private, asked her doctors to remove a non-cancerous portion of her ovarian tissue and keep it frozen.
"We have proven that ovarian tissue can still work and function normally outside the pelvis, which is its normal environment," Kate Stern, Vali's fertility specialist, told The Age. "For patients who have severe pelvic disease where we can't put the tissue back, we can now offer these patients the realistic chance of getting pregnant."
Vali is now nearly 26 weeks pregnant, and is expecting twin girls. The procedure that she underwent is still in the early phases, but her doctors hope that it will give previously infertile women who've undergone cancer treatment another shot at having children.
Via The Age