An experimental procedure in which women who survive cancer receive transplants of their own ovarian tissue has helped some women have babies, a new study shows. The study is the largest to be done on this procedure so far.
The Denmark study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, focused on women who had one ovary removed and frozen when they found out that they had cancer. After receiving treatment and recovering from cancer, doctors transplanted the preserved ovarian tissue onto the women’s remaining ovary, the Associated Press reports.
The study looked at 41 women with cancer who had the procedure between 2003 and 2014. The results showed that among the 32 women who wanted to get pregnant, 10 did conceive and gave birth. The findings suggest the procedure could help 1 in 3 women successfully have a baby.
According to the AP, over 36 babies have been born after ovarian transplants including 14 in Denmark.
“Freezing ovarian tissue is now gaining ground as a valid method for fertility restoration and for providing ovarian activity with cycling levels of sex hormones for several years,” the study authors conclude. “The level of safety appears to be high, with no relapse due to transplantation of ovarian tissue recorded to date.”