July 13, 2017

Ovarian Tissue Freezing may be Superior to Egg Freezing

LOS ANGELES -- July 13, 2017 -- According to a study, published in Reproductive Sciences, 37.7% of women who undergo ovarian tissue freezing are able to have children later in life as a result.

"Despite the clinical progress within the past 2 decades, the procedure still remains in the experimental realm," wrote Fernanda Pacheco, MD, MBA, Classiclínica, Porto Alegre, Brazil, and Kutluk Oktay, MD, PhD, Division of Reproductive Medicine & Institute for Fertility Preservation, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York. "Now, women considering this procedure to preserve fertility and postpone childbearing have more information at their disposal. Given these recent data, ovarian tissue cryopreservation should be considered as a viable option for fertility preservation."

To assess the state and success rate of this procedure, Dr. Oktay, who performed the world's first procedure of this kind in 1999, examined data from 1999 to 2016, together with his study co-author, Dr. Pacheco.

The study found that 309 ovarian tissue freezing procedures resulted in 84 births and 8 pregnancies that lasted beyond the first trimester. Additionally, 113 cases specified the women's ages at the time when they froze their ovarian tissue. The women who conceived were 27 years old on average. Further, the procedure restored reproductive functions and reversed menopause in 63.9% of women, including a resumed menstrual cycle, ovarian follicular growth, or natural fertility. The study also found that the procedure restored natural fertility in great majority of the cases: while 62.3% could conceive naturally, 37.6% needed in vitro fertilisation.

"The procedure is superior to egg freezing as it can also reverse menopause and restore natural fertility," continued the senior study author Dr. Oktay. "The next frontier is to explore the procedure's potential in delaying childbearing among healthy women, not just cancer patients."


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