Cryopreservation of female reproductive potential.

By Gook DA, Edgar DH.


Storing female reproductive potential can offer enhanced prospects for future conception in women whose fertility is threatened by cytotoxic therapies. Human female reproductive potential can be cryopreserved and stored at very low temperatures as embryos or gametes. Gamete (oocyte) cryopreservation circumvents potential issues associated with ownership when future use is being considered and may, therefore, be more generally acceptable as an approach. Advances in the technology, in particular the clinical application of vitrification, have significantly improved the outcomes from mature oocyte cryopreservation, which are now comparable to those from embryo cryopreservation. In cases where mature oocyte cryopreservation is not feasible, ovarian cortex containing primordial follicles can be cryopreserved, and over 100 births have now been reported following grafting of stored ovarian tissue. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation is now an established approach to preserve future fertility for young women; however, the efficiency is difficult to determine particularly for the prepubertal tissue with a scarcity of data.