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Baby Born After Mother Receives Ovary Transplant

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The first ever baby to be born from transplanted ovaries…

Four-day-old Maja Charlotte Shasa Butscher is a symbol of hope to millions of infertile women around the world. Baby Maja was born after a pioneering ovary transplant enabled her mother Susan to conceive naturally.

baby maja charlotte shasa Baby Born After Mother Receives Ovary Transplant

Doctors believe this type of pioneering transplant treatment will not only benefit women who suffer an early menopause, but could also help women who undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer and who could freeze one of their ovaries before beginning treatment.

Mrs. Butscher, 39, who went through an early menopause, was diagnosed as being infertile 12 years ago following years of tests on her ovaries and hormone levels.

She said:

“I never had periods when I was younger, whereas my twin sister had regular periods. I was very slim and the doctors said that when I put weight on my periods would start,
“No-one realized at the time that my ovaries weren’t working, they just said my hormone levels weren’t normal, so I was put on the Pill to compensate,
“I had all sorts of blood tests, genetic tests, DNA tests, but it wasn’t until we moved to Boston in America in 1996 that I was diagnosed with premature ovary failure,
“I was also told I had osteoporosis and that it would be very, very difficult for me to have children. It was hard to take on board.”

At first Mrs. Butscher was put on hormone replacement therapy, but concerns regarding long-term side effects made her look for other ways of treating her condition.

Her gynecologist suggested she might be suitable candidate for a whole ovary transplant if her twin sister could be the donor. He advised her to contact Dr Serman Silber, an expert in the field who had carries out pioneering ovary transplant procedures at the Infertility Centre of St Louis in Missouri.

“At the time my primary concern was to treat my osteoporosis, but at the back of my mind it was also about fertility, even though I had been told so many times I couldn’t have children. Dr Silber said it was possible I might start to ovulate, and that was what happened.”

Mrs. Butscher received her sister’s right ovary in a four-and-a-half-hour operation in January 2007. Thirteen months later, she became pregnant. Baby Maja Charlotte Shasa Butscher, whose third name means “precious water”, was born by elective caesarean at 2.42 on Tuesday afternoon, weighing 7lbs 15oz.

Mrs. Butscher recalls:

“My husband was away at a conference in Dubai at the time and I didn’t want to tell him until I was sure, so I said nothing when I spoke to him that evening and it was only the next day, after it was confirmed by my doctor, that I told him he was going to be a father.”

Stephan Butscher said:

“I was standing on a platform just about to make a speech in front of 50 people when Susanne rang me and said: ‘I have to tell you something.’
“She asked me if I was sitting down, then said ‘I’m pregnant.’ It was the most fantastic news, and it was difficult to keep the grin off my face as I made my presentation.”

Recovering from the birth at the Portland Hospital in London, Mrs. Butscher said:

“Being a mother at last is an indescribable feeling. It’s been hard to take my eyes off her since she was born,
“I’m so lucky to have had this wonderful opportunity which has given me a sense of completeness I would never have had otherwise,
“Being the first woman in the world to give birth after a whole ovary transplant hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m just so grateful to the doctors who enabled this to happen and to my sister, of course,
“I’m happy to be sharing my story with the world to give other women hope who might have similar problems.”

Mrs. Butscher now hopes to have more children, adding:

“Maja has been absolutely fantastic, she is a good feeder and she sleeps really well. She’s got her own personality and she loves to observe everything that’s going on around her.”

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