Success rates with frozen eggs comparable to fresh eggs
The ASRM (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) has lifted its designation of egg freezing as experimental. “Oocyte cropreservation is an exciting and improving technology, and should no longer be considered experimental. Pregnancy rates and health outcomes of the resulting children are now comparable to those of IVF with fresh eggs,” said Eric Widra, MD, Chair of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Practice Committee.
It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as awareness is raised of early detection and treatment, another aspect of cancer treatment is in the forefront for the fertility community: fertility preservation.
“In the past, the only goal of cancer therapy was survival,” says Mitchell Rosen, M.D., Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and Director of the UCSF Fertility Preservation Center. “However, as survival in patients of reproductive age has improved, the medical community increasingly has taken an interest in life after cancer, in particular paying attention to treatment-related infertility and reproductive health.”
Women are often not made aware of the impact cancer treatment may have on their fertility; however advocates such as Alice Crisci, founder of Fertile Action, a non-profit organization that works to ensure fertile women touched by disease have the option of preserving their fertility, are trying to change that.
A study of mice by Australian researchers offers hope to women with premature menopause or whose fertility has been compromised by cancer treatment. Current options for fertility preservation include egg freezing, embryo freezing and transplanting ovarian tissues.
Dr. Jamie Grifo, Program Director of the NYU Fertility Center and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, NYU School of Medicine, explains when a woman's eggs are kept frozen in optimal conditions, they can be frozen for several years.
Miami Herald staff writer Andrea Torres chronicles her breast cancer experiences in Tropical Life. Doctors have highly recommended that she have a hysterectomy, surgery to remove the uterus, and a prophylactic oophorectomy, removal of my ovaries. Both would be a preemptive move against uterine and ovarian cancer, which can develop after breast cancer.
Ovarian grafts — frozen ovarian tissue that is thawed and transplanted back into a woman's body -- can help cancer survivors preserve their fertility, according to a small, new study. Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center found that the grafts can produce hormones for more than seven years, a much longer lifespan than expected.
A technique to remove pieces of ovary, store it for decades and then replace it with delicate surgery could effectively put a woman's menopause 'on ice', doctors said. A conference heard how 28 babies have been born worldwide to patients who either had their own ovarian tissue removed before treatment that would have left them infertile and replaced afterwards or twins where one donated tissue to the other.