Egg freezing or ovarian tissue freezing may be considered for varying reasons. Certainly, those women who would like to have an additional child but may be fast approaching an early menopause, or those who require treatment for cancer or, who may have a genetic disorder would certainly find these options useful. When considering ovarian tissue freezing vs. egg freezing, it is important to seek professional medical assistance. Dr. Rifaat Salem who is based at the Pacific Reproductive Center has 25-years of experience in the field of fertility and helps couples to assess all the options that are available to them.
Egg freezing has long been utilized but there are times when a woman may wish to preserve hormonal function and not just fertility. If so, ovarian tissue cryopreservation could be an additional option rather than egg freezing. Ovarian tissue freezing has gone beyond the experimental stage, although it is still not mainstream. Many women, currently 4 out of 10 have been able to have children as a result later.
Ovarian tissue freezing involves the freezing and storage of tissue which has been extracted from the ovarian cortex and as this contains eggs which are undeveloped, they can be re-implanted at a later stage so to help the woman conceive. Success rates are lower than those stated for egg freezing but, in some ways, this process may be superior as it can also help to restore natural fertility and even reverse the menopause. It depends on the woman’s situation which must be assessed on an individual basis.
It is unlikely that ovarian tissue cryopreservation will replace egg freezing but it will certainly provide alternate options for those who require help with their fertility levels. Currently, the average age of those women analyzed was 29 and so, there is no evidence to report on how successful it would be for older women. This is something that would have to be discussed with the medical team. Tissue removed also tends to last approximately two years so this is an important factor to consider.
One benefit for tissue freezing is that it can be performed quickly. This is ideal for those patients who are ill and needing highly evasive treatments such as chemotherapy. By comparison, egg freezing would take several weeks of hormone treatments before eggs could be collated and for some patients, this would delay life-saving treatments. Ovarian grafts will contain hundreds to thousands of immature eggs and this enables multiple attempts at pregnancy at a later date, unlike frozen eggs. When the frozen ovarian tissue is re-implanted into the body and its functions begin, those immature eggs – previously frozen, will start to develop normally again. This process can also be useful for any young girl who may not have started their first periods as ovarian tissue can be reimplanted once any life-threatening illness has been treated.
Eggs are later retrievable in an IVF procedure. Although currently there are fewer options for ovarian tissue freezing, this is likely to increase in the future. There are many options available for couples experiencing fertility issues and it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the best medical team is on hand for guidance throughout.[/fusion_text]