A previously infertile woman is now the happy mother of a baby girl, thanks to her identical twin sister.
Last year, Melanie Morgan donated an ovary to Stephanie Yarbor, her identical twin who had gone through early menopause. Surgeons replaced some of Stephanie's sterile ovary tissue with her sisters fertile ovary in an effort to jump start her reproductive system again and it worked.
The report in The New England Journal of Medicine says this is the first time a successful pregnancy has come from this type of procedure, and they hope that they can apply what they've learned to other women facing infertility due to cancer. Stephanie became pregnant naturally. The 7-pound, 15-ounce baby girl was born Monday night in Alabama.
Researchers say they have modified the transplant process for ovarian tissue, so women who have donated tissue before undergoing sterilizing treatments for cancer may have higher success rates. This situation is unique, in that the ovarian tissue was not frozen before implantation. However, researchers are encouraged that what they learned from this successful procedure can apply to all women, even those who have frozen their own ovary tissue.
The twins did not have to take anti-rejection drugs because they had identical DNA. This procedure was based off of an experimental procedure that had been successful in sheep. Researchers say there are at least a couple hundred identical twin sisters who have a marked difference in menopause age, so this may be applied to more women in the future.