Shanghai First Maternity Infant Hospital has helped an infertile woman with two special mutant genes give birth via in vitro fertilization, the hospital said yesterday.
More than 10,000 infants have been conceived by in vitro fertilization at the hospital in the past two decades. But this case is among the rarest it has handled.
The hospital said the couple had been married for two years, but had not been able to conceive. Initial checks failed to find the cause.
They then turned to Dr Li Kunming at Shanghai First Maternity Infant Hospital and were told that the wife's embryos failed to develop a zona pellucida, which allowed other sperm to get in and damage the fertilized egg.
In a further test, Li and his team found the wife carries the mutant version of two genes — ZP2 and ZP3 — inherited from her parents. The mutant genes are the main cause of the loss of the zona pellucida.
The team then used intracytoplasmic sperm injection — a single sperm is injected directly into an egg — in their in vitro fertilization procedure and fertilized three eggs.
The wife delivered a baby successfully after embryo transplantation last year. The hospital did not make an announcement earlier in order to protect the couple's privacy.