A woman in eastern China has given birth to a baby girl using an embryo that had been frozen for 18 years. Staff at the Shanghai hospital dubbed the newborn “the most frost-resistant baby ever” because the embryo had been frozen at -196°C in liquid nitrogen for nearly two decades, Shanghai Daily reported.

Huang Qiong, the 45-year-old mother, could not get pregnant when she received an embryo implant at the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Hospital of Fudan University in 1998. She had attempted in vitro fertilisation since she could not conceive because of blocked fallopian tubes, a condition known as hydrosalpinx. She then decided to freeze the rest of the embryos.

When it is not advisable for a woman to receive an implant through IVF, embryos are usually frozen. Technology for embryo implantation has seen considerable improvements over the past 20 years, a doctor at the hospital, Dr Sun Xiaoxi said, adding that patients at the hospital had seen 43.4% success rate in gestation, as against 30% 18 years ago.

Huang decided to try receiving another implant last year, but this time, she had her fallopian tubes and uterine fibroid removed before the procedure. She gave birth to a baby girl weighing 3.3 kg in Jiangsu province on Monday.