Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mother donates ovarian eggs to infertile daughter aged seven

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A mother has donated some of her ovarian eggs to her own daughter who could, as a result, give birth to her half-sister or half-brother if she decides in the future to become pregnant through IVF treatment.

The daughter, who is just seven years old, has an inherited condition (Turner's syndrome) that makes her infertile, so her mother decided to freeze her own eggs in the hope of giving her daughter the opportunity of having a baby with similar genes.

Melanie Boivin, 35, said yesterday that her daughter Flavie would be able to make up her own mind about whether to accept the frozen eggs when she is old enough to start a family.

It will be the world's first known mother-to-daughter egg donation and although it does not involve any new technology, the ethical issues are novel given that Flavie will in theory give birth to a half-sister.

Ms Boivin, a lawyer for the Canadian government, said she decided to make the offer of a donation because the only other options for Flavie would be to accept donated eggs from either a second-degree relative or a total stranger. "The role of a mother is essentially to help her children and if I could do anything in my power to help Flavie I had to do it, and because of my age I had to do it now," Ms Boivin said.

The eggs were collected and frozen by doctors at the McGill Reproductive Centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal after Ms Boivin underwent two cycles of ovarian stimulation and egg collection. A total of 21 mature eggs were frozen in liquid nitrogen.

Source : The Independent | : Picture : google images

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