For the first time in the U.K., a woman who had received a transplant of her own frozen ovarian tissue gave birth to a healthy baby boy, providing hope that freezing ovaries could be an effective way of preserving fertility. For many women who undergo chemotherapy or experience diseases that ravage their reproductive system, freezing ovarian tissue may be a future preventive treatment for infertility.

The 33-year-old Edinburgh mother had part of her ovarian tissue frozen eleven years ago upon undergoing chemotherapy. After she was finished with cancer treatment, doctors re-implanted the ovarian tissue and she was able to conceive and give birth to the child naturally.

“That the re-implanted tissue took so quickly, came as a really wonderful surprise,” said the mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, according to the BBC. “I’m incredibly appreciative of my oncologist’s foresight in sending me for the consultation with the fertility team. I had one small surgical procedure before I began my second round of chemotherapy and now, 10 years on, my husband and I have been able to have a family.”

The Edingburgh mother isn’t the first to see successful results from frozen ovarian tissue. Last year, a Belgian woman became the first patient to give birth after receiving a frozen ovary transplant. At age 13, her ovary tissue had been removed prior to her sickle cell anemia treatment. Another woman underwent a similar procedure earlier this year, after having her ovary removed at age eight due to a blood disorder treatment.

“We never thought it would be possible and we are just astonished and overjoyed,” the Edinburgh woman said, according to the BBC. “We are extremely grateful to all the people involved in this process. When you’re going through cancer treatment it can be hard to think about the future, but I do think this will offer hope to others that they could one day have a family.”

Doctors, meanwhile, believe it may become a routine preventive treatment for infertility. "This gives real hope to girls and young women facing treatment that may cause them to become infertile, and shows how some medical advances can take a long time to show their benefits," said Professor Richard Anderson, of Edinburgh University, according to the BBC.