Preserving female fertility

For those who are considering a technique to preserve their fertility (for various reasons), various options must be evaluated among those currently available in medicine.

Let’s see the most common. This is an ever-evolving field thanks to constant advances in medicine.

A new study published in Reproductive Sciences  by two fertility experts say freezing ovarian tissue — a procedure that removes and freezes ovarian tissue for later use — could offer a viable alternative, particularly for women who can’t face freezing. of oocytes for medical reasons . The procedure, still considered experimental, is being offered to women undergoing cancer treatment.

Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue

While egg or embryo freezing involves weeks-long procedures, freezing of ovarian tissue can be done quickly  and at short notice.

To better understand how effective the treatment is, Dr. Kutluk Oktay, an early pioneer of the procedure, and Dr. Fernanda Pacheco of Innovation Fertility Preservation & IVF in New York City reviewed available data on the procedures from 1999 to 2016.

Their study reports that nearly 4 out of 10 women who undergo the procedure are able to have children later in life.

It is important for women to be aware of this technique to preserve fertility and postpone pregnancy. Given the results of the study, the authors believe that cryopreservation of ovarian tissue should be considered a viable option for fertility preservation.

The study shows that out of 309 ovarian tissue freezing procedures, 84 resulted in the birth of a baby. The researchers also saw that two-thirds of the women who underwent freezing and ovarian tissue transplantation were able to conceive naturally, and about one-third used in vitro fertilization (IVF).

However, more research is needed as the number of people involved in the study is still small.

Vitrification or preservation of the ovarian cortex

On the other hand, there is another study that compared the effectiveness of   oocyte vitrification vs ovarian cortex cryopreservation.

IVI has been one of the worldwide pioneers in the vitrification of oocytes for fertility preservation , a technique successfully carried out since 2007.

The study, which began in 2012 and was conducted by IVI and the La Fe Hospital in Valencia, obtained results which invite us to consider the two options as valid in terms of efficacy and urge us to identify cases according to the needs of each patient .

The study examined 1,759 patients (1,024 oocyte vitrifications and 735 cryopreservations of the ovarian cortex) noting that there are no significant differences in terms of newborns: this means that both techniques have practically the same effectiveness.

According to Doctor César Díaz, gynecologist of IVI Valencia and one of the main responsible for this study , “it is very important to indicate the techniques well to each patient, since not everyone can benefit from them”.

In this sense, Dr. Díaz admits that “if there is sufficient time before starting chemotherapy, the patient has an acceptable ovarian reserve, and has already started puberty, probably the best thing will be to carry out a vitrification of the oocytes , given that , under the same conditions as regards the percentage of newborns, this technique is less aggressive ”.

Further ways of preserving female fertility concern the transposition of the ovaries (oophoropexy):  this technique consists in removing the ovaries from the radiation field, to avoid direct exposure to radiotherapy.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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