Jodie Wyers was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma at the age of 23. The diagnosis was potentially life-threatening and required months of intense treatment. After treatment, she was declared infertile.
Before the treatment began, Jodie and her husband had tried in vitro fertilization (IVF) but no eggs were produced. Doctors told them of an experimental technique involving removing ovarian tissue which is then frozen and later stimulated to produce eggs fertilized through IVF.
The result was a beautiful baby girl.
Jodie became only the second woman in the world to give birth after her ovarian tissue was grafted into her abdominal and pelvic walls.
According to the Head of Fertility Preservation at Melbourne IVF and the Royal Women’s Hospital, Associate Professor Kate Stern, this procedure was used in 2013 when a Melbourne woman had twins; she lacked ovaries due to cancer treatment.
This procedure has proved to be a realistic solution for women who want to get pregnant after undergoing cancer treatments that leave them infertile due to surgical removal of the crucial reproductive organs. The toxic effect of a cancer therapy can also lead to infertility.
This process is repeatable for Jodie if she plans to have another child. She will now rely on the grafted tissue in her pelvic and abdominal walls – although the life expectancy of the tissue is unknown.