Cryopreservation of reproductive cells and tissues (eggs, sperm, fertilized oocytes, ovarian and testicular tissues) is an important sector of human cell and tissue banking in the world. Thus, in 1886, scientists have shown that sperm retain viability when cooled to -17 ° C, and in 1978 the world’s first child “from a test tube” Louise Joy Brown was born. Today, assisted reproductive technologies, including extracorporeal fertilization, give millions of infertility couples a chance to enjoy a happy parenthood. It is estimated that over 5 million children after in vitro fertilisation have been born worldwide.
In the last decade, such biobanks service as cryopreservation (freezing) of sperm and ovarian tissue has become increasingly popular, especially among cancer patients who are awaiting treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy) that may cause infertility. After recovering from cancer, the frozen ovarian tissue is retransplanted (transplanted back) to the woman and provides the restoration of the hormonal background as well as the ability to have children.
In developed countries, cryopreservation of reproductive cells and tissues for cancer patients is covered by insurance companies. Also, in countries with high social standards, the storage of sperm for men, engaged in dangerous or extreme occupations is financed by the state.
In addition to cancer patients, cryopreservation of the ovarian tissue is increasingly being requested by women, who postpone the childbirth for the indefinite period of time due to social circumstances (career, late marriage, and others).
To date, more than 100 children have been born in the world in women, who had benn retransplanted frozen ovarian tissue. Moreover, there is evidence of the successful restoration of reproductive function in women who, as a child, were exposed to excision and cryopreservation of ovarian tissue before treating a malignant tumor. Yes, in 2014, the world’s first child was born to a woman whose ovarian tissue was frozen when she was 13 years old. At that time, the child was awaiting gonadotoxic myeloablation treatment and bone marrow transplant, which allowed doctors to overcome sickle cell anemia in a young patient, but the therapy had a negative impact on the girl’s reproductive system. But 12 years later, the woman was retransplanted her own frozen ovarian tissue, which restored menstrual function. And after 2 years, at the age of 27, this woman gave birth to a healthy baby.
In Ukraine, cryopreservation of ovarian tissue in accordance with international standards is provided by the Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy, a co-founder and a full member of the Association of cryobanks.