Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Offers Hope for Women with Cancer to Preserve Their Fertility

WORDS LIM TECK CHOON

FEATURED EXPERT
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR DR MOHD FAIZAL AHMAD
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist
Sunfert International Fertility Centre

Ovarian tissue cryopreservation or OTC is a technique that allows female cancer patients the opportunity to preserve their fertility.

5 FACTS ABOUT OVARIAN TISSUE CRYOPRESERVATION
  1. It was introduced in Denmark and Europe over 25 years ago.
  2. This technique involves the harvesting the woman’s entire ovary and dissecting the cortical layer containing eggs through a process called laparoscopic procedure.
  3. The ovary is then frozen in a specialized titanium device and stored in a cryopreservation tank at -190┬║ Celsius. It can be safely kept in good condition for up to 20 years.
  4. No medications needed.
  5. This is a quick procedure, taking only about 15 to 20 minutes.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE OVARY IS FROZEN?

Once the woman is cleared of cancer and is ready to start a family, the ovary will be thawed and eventually transplanted back into her body.

WHO SHOULD CONSIDER OVARIAN TISSUE CRYOPRESERVATION?

According to Associate Professor Dr Mohd Faizal Ahmad, OTC is well-suited for:

  • Pre-pubescent girls who may be diagnosed with cancer, as they typically lack mature eggs suitable for freezing.
  • Women in their reproductive years that are┬ádiagnosed with cancer and need to start chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments right away.
HOW IS THIS PROCEDURE DIFFERENT FROM CONVENTIONAL EMBRYO AND EGG FREEZING?
  • It is less invasive.
  • It is a faster procedure.