Ovarian Cortex Freezing
Ovarian Cortex Freezing at
Birla Fertility & IVF
Ovarian cortex freezing is an experimental and promising form of fertility preservation that involves cryopreservation of the cortexpart of the ovaries which contain the eggs. It has been increasingly used for fertility preservation in cancer patients when egg or embryo freezing is not viable.
At Birla Fertility & IVF, our team works closely with the patient’s primary oncology care team to develop a treatment protocol that is closely aligned with planned or ongoing cancer treatments for safe fertility preservation and comprehensive care.
Who Should Consider Ovarian Cortex Freezing?
Ovarian cortex freezing is recommended in the following situations:
For cancer patients who need to start chemotherapy immediately, without having the time to undergo egg or embryo freezing.
For paediatric cancer patients who have not yet reached puberty.
For patients with autoimmune disorders or who need a bone marrow transplant.
The Ovarian Cortex Freezing Process
Ovarian tissue is harvested using a day-care laparoscopic procedure (laparoscopicoophorectomy). In this procedure, the doctor collects one healthy ovary. The cortex (outer layer of the ovaries that contains immature eggs) is removed from the ovary, sliced into thin pieces and frozen at approximately -196°C. Later, the preserved tissue can be grafted back into the pelvis to attempt restoring the patient’s ovarian function. Pregnancy may then be achieved either naturally, through ovarian stimulation or IVF.
Frequently Asked Questions
Egg freezing and embryo freezing are established fertility preservation treatments. However, in some situations like fertility preservation for pre-pubescent girls (who have not yet started ovulating) or for women who cannot delay their cancer treatment, these techniques are not possible. In such situation, ovarian cortex freezing is recommended.
The process of harvesting and transplanting ovarian cortex is done in conjunction with the patient’s cancer treatment. It is suitable when there are time constraints because of the cancer treatment which makes conventional egg or embryo freezing unviable. Frozen ovarian tissue can be thawed and grafted back into the pelvis after completing chemotherapy.
Ovarian cortex freezing is an experimental procedure that has shown promising results. However, research is still limited as a significant number of patients who have undergone this procedure are yet to have their tissue reimplanted for medical or personal reasons.
While there is a need for further research in this field, there are no documented cases around the world where cancer was reintroduced into the body when transplanting ovarian tissue. This procedure is not recommended for certain cancers like leukaemia as the risk of reintroducing cancer is much higher.
We took hormonal therapy with IUI. They gave personalised attention and were extremely helpful and approachable – true to their saying – All Heart. All Science. Their COVID-19 safety measures are commendable, and we felt very safe coming for our injections and consultations. All in all, I would definitely recommend Birla Fertility & IVF!
Sushma and Sunil
We decided to go for only one embryo implantation and freeze the remaining two. We came to BFI for our next attempt at pregnancy. Really liked the facility, it is quite comfortable and clean. The process was also very smooth. We hardly had to wait, and the doctors and staff were very friendly and supportive. Very happy with the care.
Rashmi and Dheeraj