Ovarian cancer is cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs.
CRYOPRESERVATION OF THE OVARIAN TISSUE In Denmark a mother had a second child after ovary transplant. Baby Lucca and sister Aviaja are among just nine children born through the procedure, where ovarian tissue is removed, frozen and transplanted. Their mother was robbed of her fertility by cancer treatment. Her doctor said the ovarian tissue was continuing to function more than four years after being transplanted back into her body. More tissue remains frozen in liquid nitrogen, and could remain functional for as long as 40 years. These results support cryopreservation of ovarian tissue as a valid method of fertility preservation and should encourage the development of this technique as a clinical procedure for girls and young women facing treatment that could damage their ovaries.
Freezing a piece of a woman's ovary when she is in her 20s or early 30s so it can be replanted later in life or after cancer treatment. This new procedure could allow women to put off the menopause indefinitely and conceive children 'naturally' much later in life. Doctors said the ovarian tissue could remain viable in the freezer for 40 years as long if the tissue remains properly stored in liquid nitrogen.
OVARY TRANSPLANT PROCEDURE The ovary is removed via keyhole surgery which reduces recovery time. The ovary is then frozen until further notice.
The ovary to be transplanted is thawed out slowly beforehand. The transplant procedure is performed as open surgery this time and involves reconnecting tiny blood vessels to the ovary. This enables a steady blood flow to the ovary which is vital for it to function.
It will take a few months following surgery for the ovary to be fully functional but evidence suggests that normal hormone production occurs within 5 months or so.
Another option is to transplant sections of ovarian tissue rather than the complete ovary. Some women have undergone surgery in which strips of ovarian tissue have been transplanted onto their defective ovary which then enables it work again. And this has resulted in successful pregnancies.
This procedure is still in its infancy but holds out a great deal of promise for female infertility in the future.