Rare case and a bundle of joy

MADURAI: In what could be termed as a rare medical phenomenon, a 25-year-old woman without a pituitary gland successfully delivered a female baby at a city hospital recently.

Briefing presspersons here on Saturday, Dr. V. Sunitha, obstetrician and gynaecologist of Vikram Hospital, said the patient, hailing from Manamadurai, was childless even after seven years of marriage. Her pituitary gland was removed in 2002 after she was diagnosed with pituitary tumour. “Pituitary is the master of endocrine orchestra as it controls the functioning of all endocrine glands such as thyroid, ovaries, testes and adrenal glands. Without the service of the pituitary gland, all these glands do not function optimally.”

The patient was already on steroid and thyroxin tablets as replacement. “Such patients do not conceive because their ovarian hormones are not produced optimally for the eggs to hatch and for pregnancy to be maintained. Recurrent miscarriages, preterm labour, growth restriction of the foetus and intrauterine death of the baby usually occur. Moreover, they do not have menstrual periods,” Dr. Sunitha said.

In what was a medically challenging case, the patient was thoroughly investigated, all her hormones were assayed and she was put on hormone injection periodically. An intra uterine insemination was done. “Hormones were injected to bring her under regular menstrual cycle and then her ovaries were stimulated to produce eggs and then to get ruptured to allow sperms. Hormone injections continued to strengthen the placenta after which it took over the function of secreting hormones necessary for the foetus to grow.”

The patient conceived on the second cycle of the IUI. Around the 37th week, an elective Caesarean section was done and a healthy female baby delivered.

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