Hospital Clínic de Barcelona: a woman with precocious menopause will be a mother thanks to a pioneering technique
A team of gynecologists at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona have managed to get women with precocious menopause – before 40 years old – to return to ovulate and one of them has become pregnant, giving birth to a girl , with a technique “pioneer in the world” “ which consists of a single operation and does not use drugs.
The patient is María José Ortega and her daughter is called Daniela , she was born at the end of August and this Wednesday she was the protagonist of the press conference where the Clínic gynecologists team explained this new technique.
María José explained that at the age of 30 she was diagnosed with precocious menopause – after trying to get pregnant and not achieving it – and for two years she tried treatments and up to five fertilization techniques, but she was told that apparently she had almost no ova .
He came to the Clinic from the Social Security to try an egg donation , but the gynecologists proposed this new technique, which was not yet approved: ” The treatment that the doctor had given me was excellent, so I trusted, I had nothing to lose “
In October of last year she underwent the technique and in August gave birth to her daughter, before which she has assured that at 33 she has managed to fulfill her dream of being a mother, and she has hoped that other women can do it too .
“We believe it is a future technique”
The team that has led the project, Drs Francesc Fàbregues and Francesc Carmona, have highlighted that this is a clinical trial in 12 patients that has achieved effectiveness in 50% of cases: ” We believe it is a future technique ” and opens many possibilities, but we must investigate it more, Fàbregues has highlighted.
The technique consists of cutting a piece of tissue from the cortex of an ovary – the cortex, near where the ovules are placed -, fragmenting it and replacing it next to the other ovary, reactivating it, and in the case of The patient who became pregnant was fertilized with an in vitro procedure, but gynecologists believe that she could become pregnant spontaneously.
The gynecologist has explained that it is an experimental technique endorsed by the Ethics Committee of the hospital, which has performed it in the public health system, and that before it can be used in the usual practice it has to be reproduced in investigations: “There are data that we have to know, not so much in security, but in performance, “he observed.
The doctors have relied on the concept of ovarian tissue activation in patients with premature ovarian failure that was introduced by Japanese doctors, who achieved this activation but with two operations and using drugs – leaving the tissue for 48 hours in a substance and returning to intervene to implant it.
This Japanese group achieved a 30% activation rate, while Catalan gynecologists achieved 50% with just one operation and without drugs: “The aim was to simplify it and make it viable” and they bet on eliminating the drugs and fragmenting the tissues , an activation route that has also been effective in other organs such as the liver.
Achieve the following pregnancy
In the 12 women who have performed, have found surprises as activations six or seven months after the operation , which consists of a laparoscopy and is performed in a day, without the need for admission: ” I am hopeful that we are about to get the next pregnancy, “said Fàbregues.
He stressed that not only is activated the reproductive function of the ovary, but also the hormonal , but do not know for how long, so they opted for in vitro fertilization in the case of María Jesús, the woman who has become pregnant, to accelerate the process.
“An innovation that we made is that when introducing the fragments we used an adhesive material”, instead of suturing, which has minimized the risk of fragments being lost , Fàbregues observed, and has detailed in statements to Europa Press that the biggest challenge was to find the right material for laparoscopy, since there are gases in the belly and fragments could be lost.
Carmona has pointed out that early menopause affects 1% of the population, some 40,000 women in Catalonia and 170,000 in Spain as a whole, and that in this process there are still follicles, although the reason is unknown.