Is 'ovarian tissue freezing' superior to egg freezing?

July 13, 2017, SAGE Publications
This table shows the outcomes of ovarian tissue cryopreservation and autotransplantation. Credit: Fernanda Pacheco, MD, MBA and Kutluk Oktay, MD, PhD

Many women are turning to egg freezing to promote fertility, but what happens when it isn't an option because of special medical or other conditions? And, what option is there for women who want to preserve hormonal function, not just fertility? Ovarian tissue freezing, an outpatient procedure which removes and freezes ovarian tissue for later use, can deliver these outcomes but has been considered experimental until now. According to a new study, nearly four out of 10 (37.7%) women who undergo the procedure are able to have children later in life as a result. This study is out today in Reproductive Sciences.

"Despite the clinical progress within the past two decades, the still remains in the experimental realm," wrote Pacheco and Oktay. "Now, women considering this procedure to preserve fertility and postpone childbearing have more information at their disposal. Given these recent data, cryopreservation should be considered as a viable option for fertility preservation."

To assess the state and success rate of this procedure, Dr. Kutluk 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. Fernanda Pacheco. They found that:

  • 309 ovarian tissue freezing procedures resulted in 84 births and 8 pregnancies that lasted beyond the first trimester.
  • 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.
  • The procedure restored reproductive functions and reversed menopause in nearly two out of three women (63.9%), including either a resumed menstrual cycle, ovarian follicular growth, or natural fertility.
  • The procedure restored natural fertility in great majority of the cases: while two thirds could conceive naturally (62.3%) only about one third needed In Vitro Fertilization (37.6%).

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

Explore further: Ovarian tissue and egg freezing should be made widely available to prevent

Related Stories

Ovarian tissue and egg freezing should be made widely available to prevent

October 2, 2014
Ovarian tissue and egg freezing to preserve fertility should no longer be reserved for cancer patients, and healthy women should also be offered these options to safeguard their future chances of conceiving a child, say world ...

Female cancer survivors are one-third less likely to achieve pregnancy than women in general populat

July 3, 2017
For the first time, a large population study has quantified the chance of pregnancy after treatment for cancer diagnosed in girls and women aged 39 or under. This landmark study, which linked all cancers diagnosed in Scotland ...

A child's right to fertility preservation when undergoing sterilising chemotherapy

June 10, 2016
Ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC), harvesting and freezing ovarian tissue, is the most promising complication-free strategy to preserve potential fertility in pre-pubescent girls undergoing sterilising chemotherapy, according ...

What does delaying childbearing cost?

March 14, 2012
Freezing eggs or ovarian tissue for the sole purpose of delaying childbearing for social reasons may prove too costly for society, according to a recent analysis by a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher.

Woman has baby in UK from ovary frozen in childhood

December 14, 2016
A woman in London has become the first to give birth after having her fertility restored using ovarian tissue frozen before the onset of puberty, doctors said Wednesday.

Uterine fibroid embolization helps restore fertility

June 13, 2017
A minimally invasive treatment can help restore fertility in women with uterine fibroids, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

Recommended for you

Why baby's sex may influence risk of pregnancy-related complicatations

July 12, 2018
The sex of a baby controls the level of small molecules known as metabolites in the pregnant mother's blood, which may explain why risks of some diseases in pregnancy vary depending whether the mother is carrying a boy or ...

Study analyzes opioid overdose risk during and after pregnancy among Massachusetts women

July 11, 2018
A study of women giving birth in Massachusetts found a higher level of opioid use disorder than have studies conducted in other states. In a paper published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the research team—consisting ...

High blood pressure in pregnancy linked to mother's heart function

July 9, 2018
Pregnant women who develop high blood pressure, or have small babies, may have hearts that pump less blood with each beat.

What you eat while pregnant may affect your baby's gut

July 4, 2018
A mother's diet during pregnancy may have an effect on the composition of her baby's gut microbiome—the community of bacteria living in the gut—and the effect may vary by delivery mode, according to study published in ...

New study reveals time and day women are most likely to give birth

June 15, 2018
A new study has found that the time and day that women give birth can vary significantly depending on how labour starts and the mode of giving birth.

Blood test for pregnant women can predict premature birth

June 7, 2018
A new blood test for pregnant women detects with 75-80 percent accuracy whether their pregnancies will end in premature birth. The technique can also be used to estimate a fetus's gestational age—or the mother's due date—as ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.