A Woman With No Ovaries Miraculously Gives Birth to Twins
Fertility medicine has become so advanced that it now creates literal wonders. For example, these days, a woman with no ovaries or fallopian tubes is fully capable of carrying out a healthy full-term pregnancy. This might seem too good to be true until you hear Shelly Battista’s story, who was blessed with 2 healthy babies when it seemed completely impossible.
Shelly’s cancer diagnosis came as a complete shock.
In early 2020, Shelly Battista, who was 34 at the time, and her husband, Robert, were first-time parents to their baby girl, Emilia, and enjoying life. One day, while breastfeeding, Shelly noticed a lump in her breast but thought it was a clogged milk duct. She had no history of breast cancer, so she didn’t think it was dangerous.
After the lump didn’t show signs of improvement, Shelly went for a check-up and received a terrifying diagnosis: she had triple-negative breast cancer with a mutation that makes her prone to other types of cancer. She also learned that she had a predisposition to ovarian cancer, so the odds weren’t in Shelly’s favor.
Shelly and Robert both knew they wanted more kids in the future. They both said, “We were just starting our life together, and we get this shocking news.” With no time to waste, Shelly went to start treatment immediately, but her doctor offered even more hope than she could’ve expected.
Her doctor became the saving grace for the family.
Shelly was lucky enough to have Kara Goldman, MD, as her personal doctor. As a medical director specializing in fertility preservation, Dr. Goldman took the couple’s dreams of having a bigger family very seriously and offered a solution. She explained that since chemotherapy is toxic to the ovaries, they needed to put Shelly through a fertility treatment first.
The doctor said, “We started her fertility preservation journey 2 days later. She started medications, and 2 weeks later, she had 8 frozen embryos.” What followed was 12 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and the eventual removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes, but Shelly was cancer-free.
In the end, Shelly received the surprise of her life.
One year after her treatments, Shelly was cleared to try and get pregnant again. Of course, it was going to be a very different journey compared to her first one, but not impossible. Dr. Goldman said, “The ovaries and the uterus function very independently of each other. In Shelly’s case, because she did not have ovaries producing hormones, we were able to provide her the hormones necessary for pregnancy.”
The first 2 embryo transfers were unsuccessful, but, as they say, the third one was the charm. And the miracles didn’t end there. During the first ultrasound, Shelly and Robert learned that they were expecting twins, despite the fact that only one embryo was transferred. The doctor explained that the chance of that happening was 1%.
On December 9, 2022, exactly 2 years after being declared cancer-free, Shelly gave birth to twin girls. After such a difficult journey, the couple was finally blissfully happy. Shelly explained, “I’m blessed to have a medical team who let me advocate for my medical needs and the future of my family. It’s a true miracle... My heart is very full.”