Ovarian tissue freezing can help reverse menopause and restore natural fertility, allowing women to have babies much later in life, say scientists. The procedure involves removing and freezing ovarian tissue for later use.
Nearly four out of 10 women who undergo the procedure see positive outcomes, scientists have found. The procedure still remains in the experimental realm. "Now, women considering this procedure to preserve fertility and postpone childbearing have more information at their disposal," according to researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in the US. "Given these recent data, ovarian tissue cryopreservation should be considered as a viable option for fertility preservation," they said. "The procedure is superior to egg freezing as it can also reverse menopause and restore natural fertility," said Kutluk Oktay, who performed the world's first procedure of this kind in 1999. To assess the state and success rate of this procedure, research examined data from 1999 to 2016. They found that 309 ovarian tissue freezing procedures resulted in 84 births and eight pregnancies that lasted beyond the first trimester. About 113 cases specified the women's ages at the time when they froze their ovarian tissue. The women who conceived were 27 years old on average. The procedure restored reproductive functions and reversed menopause in nearly two out of three women (63.9 per cent), including either a resumed menstrual cycle, ovarian follicular growth, or natural fertility. The procedure restored natural fertility in great majority of the cases: while two thirds could conceive naturally (62.3 per cent) only about one third needed in vitro rertilisation (37.6 per cent).