A mother whose embryo was stored in a freezer in a Shanghai hospital for nearly two decades has given birth to a healthy baby, which is a record for China.
The 45-year-old mother, identified as Huang Qiong, received an embryo implant at the Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital of Fudan University back in 1998, but failed to get pregnant. Huang then decided to freeze the rest of her embryos, the hospital said yesterday.
Last year, Huang decided to give it another try, became pregnant and successfully gave birth to a baby girl weighing 3.3 kilograms in neighboring Jiangsu Province on Monday. Hospital staff called her "the most frost-resistant baby ever" because the embryo had been frozen at minus 196 degrees Celsius in liquid nitrogen for 18 years. The hospital said hydrosalpinx and a thin endometrium led to the failure of Huang's embryo implantation 18 years ago.
This time, Huang had her fallopian tubes and uterine fibroid removed before the implantation. Two weeks later, blood test results showed Huang was pregnant.
According to Dr Sun Xiaoxi, embryo implantation technology has significantly improved over the past two decades, and the gestation success rate for the hospital's patients has risen to 43.4 percent from about 30 percent 18 years ago.
Embryos used for IVF are usually frozen when it is not viable for a woman to receive the implant.
China has no regulations governing how long embryos can be preserved in a freezer, but they are usually kept for five to 10 years.