Fri, Sep 21, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Woman conquers loss, medical odds with ‘miracle’ birth

RENEWED:Losing her only son did not stop a woman from trying to conceive again, even when doctors told her it would be impossible because of several complications

By Peng Chien-li and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

After losing her only son three years ago, a 43-year-old woman decided to undergo tuboplasty — surgery to repair the fallopian tubes — and has given birth to a baby boy this March.

According to Su Wen-hsiang (蘇文祥), from Miaoli City Da Chien General Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, after the woman, surnamed Chen (陳), had her fourth child 20 years ago, she underwent tubal ligation surgery, a procedure for sterilization.

However, when her son died from an adverse reaction to medicine, Chen was inconsolable. Her husband then suggested that she “give birth to the son that she had lost” and the idea put Chen back on her feet, Su quoted her as saying.

However, because Chen’s fallopian tubes had been tied for more than two decades and she suffered from hydrosalpinx — a condition whereby the fallopian tubes are distally blocked with fluids — doctors told her she would be unable to give birth.

The doctors told Chen that her only option was to try to have a test-tube baby, but that method would only give Chen a 10 percent chance of success because of her age, decreased ovarian function and the deteriorated quality of her eggs.

Despite the bleak outlook, the couple did not give up and made an appointment with Su two years ago.

After assessing Chen’s situation with an ultrasonogram, the doctor confirmed that both of Chen’s fallopian tubes were distended by hydrosalpinx — a common complication after tuboplasty — and it would indeed be difficult to restore their function.

However, Su also found that despite the need to sever the right fallopian tube — because of the danger of complications and potential negative impact on the success rate of conceiving a test-tube baby — Chen’s left fallopian tube could possibly be reconnected.

Su said that after discussing the issue with the couple, Chen decided to have surgery to reconnect the tube.

After being discharged from the hospital, Chen opted not to pursue artificial impregnation and chose instead to rest at home and attempt to conceive naturally.

Su said that after half a year, Chen was about to start taking menotropin, a fertility drug, to attempt artificial insemination when it was confirmed that she was pregnant.

“I will never forget the first time Chen stepped into my office, with her worried expression reflecting the trials she had endured,” Su said, adding that aside from deeply empathizing with Chen after hearing her story, he was also touched by her courage and determined to help her in any way he could.

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