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China: Around The Nation

Chinese woman, 46, gives birth to her second child – using embryo frozen 16 years ago

Mother, who became infertile after health problems, one of 1,000 women over 40 wanting another baby at Guangdong hospital since end of one-child policy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 1:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 3:28pm

A 46-year old woman in China has given birth to a healthy baby boy using one of her embryos that was frozen 16 years ago, mainland media reported.

The baby, who weighed about 3.8kg, was born in early February at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong Province, Chinanews.com reported.

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A fertility specialist at the hospital said it was the first birth from a 16-year-old frozen embryo since the hospital had started offering such a service in 1994.

The woman, whose name was not given, was diagnosed with a health problem, which caused her to become infertile.

However, she managed to give birth to her first child through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) – a process of fertilisation which involves an egg and sperm being manually combined in a laboratory dish – in 2000.

She then asked the hospital to freeze her remaining 18 embryos.

The woman returned to the hospital last May to have one of her embryos implanted so she could get pregnant again after China’s one-child policy ended on January 1, 2016.

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Wang Zilian, the woman’s doctor at the hospital, said the process had been challenging because of the woman’s age and the fact she was suffering from a number of diseases, including the blood disorder thalassemia and gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy.

Xu Yanwen, another fertility specialist at the hospital, said since the end of the one-child policy, there had been an increase in the number of woman of advanced age visiting the hospital in the hope of conceiving using assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF treatment, Xinhua reported.

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In 2016 alone, the hospital received requests from about 1,000 woman who were more than 40 years old and wanted to have another baby, Xu was quoted as saying in the report.