A Canadian woman has recently had 21 of her eggs frozen for future use by her 7-year-old daughter who was born infertile. Melanie Boivin, 35, has three children. Her second child, Flavie Boivin was born with Turner syndrome, a condition in which one of the two X chromosomes usually carried by women is missing, almost always causing infertility. Women with the condition can usually conceive with donated eggs, however. This procedure will be the first of its kind if Flavie decides to have children when she is older. If this occurs, she could one day give birth to her biological half-brother or half-sister.

In the past, women who have had eggs donated to them were received from sisters, cousins, nieces, and even daughters. Mothers have never donated in the past because the recipient has always been older, and their mothers are usually at least 20 years older as well with poor quality eggs. Since Boivin is still in her mid-30s and fertile, Flavie will not have to go on a waiting list like others who get their eggs from an unrelated donor. Despite Flavie’s condition, Ms. Boivin also has two other healthy children with her partner, Martin Cote, 11-year-old Jermie and 2-year-old Clara. Canada is one of the many countries that has a shortage of donated eggs.

Currently, eggs may only be kept frozen for ten years which means that Flavie would have to use the egg by the time she is 17. However, they are hoping that this limit will be revised by the time Flavie is ready to use the eggs. There is also some ethical obstacles involved. Boivin’s doctors had to refer the case to an independent ethics committee before agreeing to the procedure. Another committee will have to approve the use of the eggs if and when Flavie intends to use them. However, it is up to her whether or not she decides to use the eggs.

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