Oocyte cryopreservation for age-related fertility loss

W. Dondorp*, G. de Wert, G. Pennings, F. Shenfield, P. Devroey, B. Tarlatzis, P. Barri, K. Diedrich

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The recent introduction of oocyte vitrification has significantly advanced the outcome of oocyte cryopreservation, leading to clinical results comparable to those achieved in IVF using fresh oocytes, as reported by experienced centres. This has lead to new debate, both in the professional community and in society at large, about the acceptability of offering this technology to reproductively healthy women who want to cryopreserve their oocytes against the threat of time. Given the many demands calling for simultaneous realization in a relatively short period of their lives, many women who want to have children feel to be under considerable pressure. The option of oocyte cryopreservation may in fact give them more breathing space. In this document, it is concluded that the arguments against allowing this application of the technology are not convincing. The recommendations include the need for adequate information of women interested in oocyte cryopreservation, also in order to avoid raising false hopes. The message must remain that womens best chances of having a healthy child are through natural reproduction at a relative early age. Centres offering this service must have the necessary expertise to employ oocyte cryopreservation efficiently with the so far non-standardized protocols. As data about long-term safety is still lacking, centres also have a responsibility to contribute to the collection of these data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1237
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • oocyte cryopreservation
  • oocyte vitrification
  • fertility preservation
  • ethics
  • non-medical reasons

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