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Another Successful Ovarian Tissue Freezing Results in Pregnancy; Unprecedented in Australia
November 30, 2012
Earlier this year, we blogged about ovarian tissue freezing as a form of fertility preservation- particularly for cancer patients. This procedure is fairly new, however, it has resulted in 20 pregnancies worldwide to date. The 20th case, announced just this week, was a first for Australian reproductive medicine. The Aussie doctor and his team have proven the effectiveness of freezing ovarian tissue in a 43-year-old patient post cancer treatment.
Dr. Gab Kovacs, director of Monash IVF in Melbourne, Australia says his team preserved the woman’s reproductive tissue in 2005 after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. They froze the tissue, allowing her to undergo cancer treatment and recover, then transplanted the ovarian tissue back to its parent ovary. The patient successfully resumed ovulation and is now 6 weeks pregnant.
Ovarian tissue freezing requires little preparation and has quick turn-around time. Kovacs says the procedure is also cost effective- cheaper than in vitro fertilization (IVF) or egg freezing. A portion of the outer layer of the ovary, which contains eggs, is removed through the navel, then frozen via vitrification.
This technique has opened doors for pregnancy after cancer treatment and while it is currently recommended out of medical necessity, the future of ovarian tissue freezing may provide women the opportunity to pursue family building later in life. Recently, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lifted the experimental title from egg freezing for fertility preservation, but only for fertility-compromising medical conditions. There are still ethical concerns regarding fertility preservation for social reasons.
To read the full article, click here.