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Ovarian Tissue Freezing Explained

A blog by Dr. John Zhang, New Hope Fertility, February 23, 2016

Fertility preservation is a great way to ensure a woman is able to have biological children once she’s ready to start a family. There are many methods to preserve fertility - ovarian tissue freezing is growing in popularity for women. Despite this, many people are unfamiliar with the process and the associated cost. Understanding what to expect can help you to determine if ovarian tissue freezing can address your needs.

The goal of fertility preservation is to ensure a woman has eggs available once she’s ready to start a family. Unlike egg freezing which provides a somewhat limited number of eggs, ovarian tissue can contain hundreds of eggs.

A woman’s eggs are stored on the outer layer of her ovaries. By removing a small piece of this layer, doctors are able to retrieve a substantial number of immature eggs. These eggs can then be stored in mass quantities while still attached to the tissue. When a woman is ready, the stored ovarian tissue can be transferred back into her body where it should perform normally. She is then able to conceive naturally, barring any other issues. A second option is to mature the eggs in a laboratory setting in order to do in vitro fertilization.

There are several benefits to this fertility preservation method including:

  • The ability to harvest hundreds of eggs at once
  • The ability to be done quickly, without extensive planning in order to accommodate other medical treatment
  • Having no need for fertility medication

Cost of Ovarian Tissue Freezing
The out of pocket costs associated with the freezing of ovarian tissue varies by individual. In many cases, particularly where a woman is receiving cancer treatment, the process is covered by medical insurance. This may be true even for women without medical coverage for fertility treatment. For those without insurance coverage, a variety of factors can impact your specific cost.

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