This was a world first: a baby was born after a mother's immature eggs were developed in a lab, frozen and implanted in her years later.
The 29-year-old French woman had eggs taken by fertility doctors before she started chemotherapy for breast cancer. The scientists used a technique called in vitro maturation (IVM) to help the eggs to develop further in the laboratory. Five years later, when the woman had recovered from her cancer, she discovered the treatment had left her infertile. She decided to use the frozen eggs. After fertilisation and reimplantation, later, in her body, the baby boy, named Jules, was born in summer 2019. The method also avoids the risk of “re-seeding the cancer”, which can happen in some cancers when ovarian tissue is later transplanted back into a cancer patient.
Until now, some children have been born as a result of IVM followed by immediate fertilisation and transfer to the patient without freezing. “This success represents a breakthrough in the field of fertility preservation,” said professor Michael Grynberg, head of the Department of Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Preservation at the Antoine Beclere University Hospital.