Freezing ovaries – An insight

 

Ovary freezing is now becoming socially acceptable for women who are concerned that they won’t find their ideal partner before their fertility declines.

 

It is well known that fertility in women declines after the age of 35. Conceiving naturally after 35 can become more difficult and the quality of the eggs that are produced is reduced. The eggs of 40+ year old women are more likely to also have a high degree of chromosomal abnormalities.

 

Research into ovarian freezing has been on for the last 50 to 60 years. Most of the initial studies came from Italy, thereby limiting the applicability of these studies to women population outside Italy.

Who should consider freezing ovaries?

 

Freezing ovariesThese include women with no partner and if she is ageing alone or if the relationship with the current partner is not conducive enough to consider starting a family in the circumstances involved.

The direct indication to consider ovary freezing is usually either fertility preservation or fertility extension.

Ovarian freezing involves collecting slices of the ovarian tissue as shown in the image on the left. These tissue pieces are then rapidly frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen.

When the patient desires a family, the sliced tissue pieces are thawed and then placed back into its original anatomical position

Thus helping normal ovulation and probable future conception.

 

It is important to understand that this technique of freezing ovaries is still at an experimental stage and that pregnancies is not guaranteed post tissue transplant.

 

An important point to bear in mind is that..

 

Freezing ovaries could be offered to cancer patients who have nothing further to lose…

 

BUT this technique, should never be offered to young women who simply want to postpone motherhood.

 

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References

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2778800/Healthy-young-women-freeze-ovaries-want-baby-later.html
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/21/women-fertility-egg-freezing