Does Yarber's Ovary Transplant Bring Hope for Others?

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

After years of being told she would not be able to have children, Alabama woman Stephanie Yarber gave birth to a baby girl thanks to her twin sister's ovary.

Yarber received her sister's ovary tissue last year and five months later was pregnant. This is the first successful ovary transplant in the United States.

But while local doctors call this is an amazing story, they say it will probably not be an option for many women. Because the women were twins, the tissue transplanted was a perfect match. For the average person, a transplant without a perfect match requires a lifetime of immuno-suppressive drugs.

But one thing this success story does do, is it opens the door for other women to freeze their ovaries. For instance a woman undergoing cancer treatments may become infertile, but if she can freeze part of her ovary and retransplant it after therapy, this would allow her to resume the ability to have children.


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