For women who suffer from infertility caused by cancer treatments, help may be right around the corner . A new study shows a technique may help these women gain back their fertility -- even after going into menopause .Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and radical surgery can cause a woman to experience premature menopause and diminish her chance of getting pregnant.
Researchers in New York froze a 30-year-old woman's ovarian tissue to determine if they could preserve her fertility. The woman suffered from breast cancer before experiencing chemotherapy-induced menopause. Researchers transplanted the tissue beneath the woman's abdomen six years after she underwent cancer treatment. The woman's ovaries began to function again three months after the procedure. The woman also underwent in-vitro fertilization, which resulted in the development of a four-cell embryo. The embryo was implanted, but she did not become pregnant.
However researchers say their results are promising and they say that this research represents a potentially significant reproductive advancement in two respects: First, women can preserve their fertility by freezing their ovarian tissue, and second, pregnancy may be possible even after the tissue remains frozen for a long time.
However researchers warn that freezing ovarian tissue may pose risks and in light of the current uncertainty about the effectiveness and safety of ovarian cryostorage and grafting, the whole procedure should still be presented as experimental to patients.