Egg freezing for the preservation of a woman’s biological capacity to have a child has long been applied to some medical cases, but what if a woman’s special health condition won’t allow egg freezing to be an option for fertility preservation?
What if a woman wants to preserve hormonal function and not just fertility? Will ovarian tissue cryopreservation be the answer? Is it a better option than egg freezing or is it not?
New Study on Ovarian Tissue Freezing Gives Hope
Ovarian tissue freezing has been an experimental procedure with limited data available in the past, but a new study published in a SAGE Publishing journal, Reproductive Sciences, showed that it enabled almost 4 out of 10 women (or 37.7% of women) who’ve had the procedure to have children later on – a statistical figure that is giving hope to many affected individuals.
Highly Encouraging Results
The scientists involved in the study, Dr. Kutluk Oktay (the same person who did the first ovarian tissue freezing in 1999) and Dr. Fernanda Pacheco, his colleague and study co-author, examined 17 years’ worth of existing data from 1999 to 2016 to determine the procedure’s success rate. Their documentation shared the following information:
- 84 births plus 8 pregnancies that went beyond the first trimester resulted from 309 ovarian tissue freezing procedures.
- In the 113 cases that recorded the women’s ages at the time when their ovarian tissue was frozen, the procedure reversed menopause and restored the reproductive functions of nearly two-thirds of the women (a figure of 63.9%).
- Women in the study either resumed having natural fertility, ovarian follicle growth, or menstrual cycle using their cryopreserved ovarian tissue. It is also recorded that women who conceived have an average age of 27 years.
- In the majority of cases in the study, natural fertility was restored resulting to 1/3 of those women (37.6%) needing IVF to get pregnant and 2/3 (62.3%) being able to conceive naturally.
Is Ovarian Tissue Freezing Superior to Egg Cryopreservation?
Dr. Oktay stated that his findings show that ovarian tissue freezing is a superior fertility preservation compared to egg freezing because it does not only save a woman’s eggs but also reverse menopause and restore natural fertility.
Dr. Oktay says that the next step following this study is to find out how this can help delay childbearing in healthy women and not just women with medical conditions such as various cancers.
Doctors Pacheco and Oktay wrote that the procedure is still in the experimental realm despite clinical progress being made (and available) in the last 17 years. They also shared that the data they have may help women who are considering delaying childbearing and preserving their fertility until much later in life.
The doctors stated that given the results of their study, ovarian tissue cryopreservation should be seen as a viable means to preserve fertility.
We say that the above information just shows that we live in a very exciting time. Here’s to more positive reproductive health and fertility news!