Caution Against Women Freezing Ovarian Tissue

by Savitha C Muppala on Feb 13 2013 6:59 PM

Caution Against Women Freezing Ovarian Tissue
A woman who survived breast cancer has become pregnant after she was reimplanted with her frozen ovarian tissue, that was removed and frozen before chemotherapy.
But a doctor has warned that such "invasive" procedure should not be pursued by young women wanting to have a child later in life, according to the Herald Sun.

The woman, who was 37 when diagnosed with breast cancer, opted to undergo the cyropreservation procedure in 2005 before starting a type of chemotherapy that would severely reduce her chances of falling pregnant.

Her ovarian tissue was removed and frozen before her cancer treatment, according to a report published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Seven years later, the 43-year-old - who was menopausal but cancer-free - had the preserved tissue reimplanted in her ovaries and began ovulating a few months later.

She underwent in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and is now in her second trimester of pregnancy.

The pregnancy is one of only 20 of its kind in the world, and only the second in a woman successfully treated for breast cancer, said international medical director at Monash IVF, Professor Gabor Kavocs.

Prof Kavocs noted that the procedure offers new hope to women whose fertility may be threatened by cancer treatment.

He said the process was also good news for women who lose their ovary functions because of operations related to diseases such as endometriosis - a condition linked to infertility.

However, he warned against using the process for social preservation.

"It’s an option for women who are going to lose their fertility, (but) I wouldn’t advocate it being used by women who would like to have children later in life," he said.