Thu, May 01, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Cancer patient to fete Mother’s Day after unlikely birth

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer

A 34-year-old woman who stopped menstruating a few years ago due to the side effects of aggressive cancer treatments is preparing to celebrate her first Mother’s Day this month after giving birth to a baby girl earlier last month with the help of in vitro fertilization techniques, health site healthnews.com.tw reported.

According to National Taiwan University Hospital reproductive endocrinologist Chen Shee-uan (陳思原), the woman was diagnosed with blood cancer about nine years ago and was at first reluctant to receive treatment for the disease because of the infertility risk such therapies carry.

“At the time, doctors recommended that the patient undergo a stem cell transplant, which is a surgery that can only be carried out after the recipient receives a series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy that may cause irreparable damage to their ovaries and stop the menstruation cycle,” Chen was quoted as saying in the site’s report.

After learning that the woman dreamed of becoming a mother, Chen advised her patient to freeze her eggs before starting the cancer therapies.

The woman agreed and had 38 of her eggs harvested and frozen, Chen said.

The patient got married in 2012 and decided last year to thaw 22 of the frozen eggs, about 20 of which had survived the process.

Given the woman’s condition, only one embryo was placed in her uterus to avoid twin pregnancies.

The embryo was implanted successfully and the woman gave birth to a healthy, 2,750g girl last month, a feat Chen attributed to the quality of the eggs.

“The eggs were of high quality since they were frozen when the woman was young. She still has 16 eggs and five embryos that are frozen, which means that she could potentially give birth to at least five more children if she chooses,” Chen was quoted as saying on the Web site.

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