A woman whose ovaries stopped working after she had chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer has surprised doctors by having a baby.

A woman whose ovaries stopped working after she had chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer has surprised doctors by having a baby.

The unnamed woman was 14 when she was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. Tests showed her ovaries had stopped working and her regular periods ceased; she needed hormone replacement therapy to prevent symptoms of the menopause.

Fearful that chemotherapy might ruin her fertility, doctors had removed and frozen a strip of her ovaries so it could be re-implanted in her body after the treatment. But at the age of 20 she conceived naturally and gave birth to a healthy boy.

Dr Hamish Wallace, a consultant paediatric oncologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, said the birth of the baby - understood now to be about one-year-old - was "more than a surprise".

"There was clear evidence of ovarian failure on several occasions, but still the patient went on to conceive entirely naturally," he said in a statement.

The recovery of ovarian function has been reported before, but Dr Wallace, who is also a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, said the Scottish case was the first conception of its kind to be documented.

He said the incident raised questions about last year's announcement that Belgian cancer patient Ouarda Touirat had become the first woman to give birth after frozen ovarian tissue was planted back in her body.

He said the Scottish case showed doctors in Belgium could not be certain the patient's child developed from one of the frozen eggs.

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