Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 June 2009
Ovarian tissue freezing has been used successfully in animals and it has recently begun to be offered clinically to young women who have medical conditions with a high risk of sterility. Although no frozen human ovarian grafts have yet been returned to the donor and resulted in a pregnancy, there are many indications that this procedure should be feasible. Although live young have been derived from frozen grafts in several species, research should aim to make further improvements to the cryopreservation and grafting procedures to optimize follicle survival, and hence minimize the amount of tissue that needs to be collected, stored and returned. Ovarian tissue freezing, particular if used in combination with egg and embryo freezing, should allow a patient to safeguard their chance of becoming a parent later (Table 1). In cases where the patient has a systemic cancer or infection and malignant cells or viruses may be present in the systemic circulation and the gonadal tissue, ovarian tissue could be collected and frozen, but grafting is not currently recommended (Table 3).
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