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Q.

What is ovarian tissue cryopreservation?

 

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A.

Doctors are experimenting with a procedure to freeze the tissues from a woman’s ovary. The ovaries produce eggs. In this procedure, doctors cut the tissue from one of your ovaries into thin slices. These slices are then frozen. After your cancer treatment, the doctors can place a slice of thawed ovarian tissue back into your body. The tissue does not need to go back where it came from in order to start producing eggs! The doctor might place the tissue in your arm or your belly. You may need to be treated with fertility hormones in order for this tissue to produce an egg.

Once the tissue produces an egg, your doctor will retrieve it and fertilize it in the laboratory. After your doctor places the subsequent embryo into your uterus, you may be able to get pregnant. There are some disadvantages to this procedure. You will need to have surgery several times. It also is dangerous if you have cancer of the ovary. If the tissue has cancer and is placed back in your body, the cancer could spread. It is important for you to know that ovarian tissue cryopreservation is still an experimental procedure. It has not always been successful at all fertility centers. Right now, the success rate is very low.

You can find more information from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine on this topic here:

http://www.reproductivefacts.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/Resources/Patient_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Info_Booklets/Female_Cancers_Cryopreservation_and_Fertility_7-25-11.pdf

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Read the Original Article: Female Cancers, Cryopreservation, and Fertility