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First Us Ovary Transplant Woman Gives Birth

Snowbaby

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Washington - An American woman gave birth this week after becoming the first in the United States to undergo an ovary transplant.

The first such surgery was reported in China, followed by Belgium. Now Stephanie Yarber, 24, of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has become a mother of a girl with the help of her identical twin, Melanie Morgan, and infertility specialist Sherman Silber.

According to an article in The New England Journal of Medicine and media reports, Yarber gave birth Monday night after receiving one of her sister's ovaries in April 2004.

Yarber's ovaries had shut down at 14, but nearly six months after the surgery, she found out she was pregnant.

In the procedure performed in St Louis, Silber removed Morgan's left ovary under general anaesthesia. He then attached the outer layer of Morgan's ovary to her sister's.

Fortunately for Yarber, she had a fertile identical twin. Without such a perfect match, women would have to take drugs to prevent their immune systems from rejecting the transplanted tissue, and such drugs cannot be taken during pregnancy. For these women, their option remains in-vitro fertilization with donor eggs.

Yarber herself had undergone two unsuccessful in-vitro fertilisations.

The first ovary transplant was reported last year in China, also between sisters.

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