Fertility preservation has a great importance to many young women with cancer . Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue is a safe, simple and effective option for preserving fertility in young patients facing or undergoing gonadotoxic therapy. Oocytes in primordial follicles are very small and tolerate cryopreservation very well. The removal of ovarian tissue is a simple procedure. Ovarian tissue can be obtained using minimally invasive techniques during laparoscopy, with unilateral ovariectomy or partial ovariectomy. Ovarian tissue can be cryopreserved independently of the menstrual phase.
Primary follicle from ovarian cortex before (a) and after (b) cryopreservation with morphological alterations. The oolemma of oocyte after cryopreservation is more undulated and interrupted (E), and the cytoplasm of follicular cells (F) is vacuolated. N, nucleus; M, mitochondria; L, lipid droplets. Scale bar represents 5 μm .
In 2004, first live birth after autotransplantation of human ovarian tissue was reported. To date, 60 live births have been reported worldwide following transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue. However, research on the cryopreservation of ovarian tissue as a method of fertility preservation has now been continuing for more than a decade, and considerable successes have recently been achieved.
In centres that offer cryopreservation of ovarian tissue, the procedure can be performed one day after the patient’s first visit. After the tissue has been removed, it can be processed immediately or transferred in special transportation containers to a centre specializing in the cryopreservation of ovarian tissue, with an associated cryobank