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Mum In China Gives Birth To Son's Twin Brother 10 Years After He Was Born

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

Mum In China Gives Birth To Son's Twin Brother 10 Years After He Was Born

A woman in China has given birth to a baby boy from an embryo that's been frozen for 10 years, making him the twin brother to her elder son who had been conceived in the same round of IVF.

According to Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital, the mother - known as Ms Wang - had been struggling to conceive a child 10 years ago, and decided to try out IVF treatment and doctors cultivated a 'batch of embryos'.

Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital
Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital

While one embryo was implanted into Wang, who went on to give birth to her first child nicknamed 'Lu Lu', the rest were frozen so that she could go through the same process later - 10 years later, to be precise.

Wang, 41, welcomed her second son on 16 June after giving birth via cesarean, with doctors saying 'Tong Tong', as he was nicknamed, weighed 3.48kg (7.7lbs) at birth.

Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital
Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital

As the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority explains: "Often with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment, there may be good quality embryos left over after embryo transfer. Instead of discarding them, there is the option to freeze them to use in the future (in case treatment doesn't work for example, or to try for a sibling).

"Embryos can also be frozen to preserve fertility so it may be possible to have a baby at a later date."

Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital
Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital

Saying that not all embryos are suitable for freezing and that some sadly do not survive, it adds: "The standard storage period for embryos is normally 10 years, although women in certain circumstances can store their embryos for up to 55 years."

Zheng Jie, a doctor from the hospital's fertility centre, said: "From a medical perspective, Lu Lu and Tong Tong are twin brothers."

Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital
Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital

Wang returned to the obstetrics chief, Xiao Mei, who had helped her with her first pregnancy.

"Almost 10 years later, when I found Director Xiao Mei, she recognized me at once," Wang said.

The hospital said that, despite the woman's age, the entire pregnancy was 'relatively smooth'.

Apparently Wang's eldest son helped with the housework while his mother was pregnant, and even offered to hand over all of his 400 yuan pocket money to 'buy diapers for the younger brother or sister'.

As it was the same hospital, when the time came for Wang to give birth again the same doctor who had delivered her baby 10 years ago carried out the cesarean section.

"The same doctor did the test tube operation, the same doctor did the cesarean section operation, the two babies were the same batch of embryos, the same sex, the same weight, were also born in June," the hospital said, adding that what happened was 'extremely rare', especially as the two brothers had so much in common.

Featured Image Credit: Hubei Maternal and Child Health Hospital

Topics: Science, World News, News, China

Jess Hardiman
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