Home Health News Expert Explains Procedure, What Is Ovarian Cortex Freezing?

Expert Explains Procedure, What Is Ovarian Cortex Freezing?

Once, having kids marked the end of an actress’s career, constrained by a ticking biological clock. Today, the narrative shifts as actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Mona Singh, and Tanishaa Mukerji opt for egg freezing, defying traditional constraints.

In an exclusive interview with Zee News English, Dr Firuza R. Parikh, MD PhD, Director Well Women Center at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai shares more about female reproductive health and how women can opt for a different procedure if they want to have children a little later in life or due to any other medical condition.

What is Ovarian Cortex Freezing (OTC)?

Dr Firuza says, “Ovarian Cortex Freezing (OTC) is emerging as a groundbreaking procedure for fertility preservation, originally designed for women undergoing cancer treatments that threaten ovarian function. However, its applications have expanded to include elective fertility preservation and delaying menopause. This article explores the nuances of OTC, comparing it to traditional egg freezing and delving into its benefits, procedures, success rates, and associated costs.”

Ovarian Cortex Freezing vs. Egg Freezing: Are they similar? 

Unlike traditional egg freezing, “OTC does not require hormonal stimulation. The absence of ovarian stimulation enables the procedure to be performed promptly, without the need for multiple cycles. OTC allows for the freezing of hundreds to thousands of immature eggs, providing a more robust fertility preservation solution”, highlights Dr Firuza.

Ovarian Cortex Freezing (OTC): Procedure and Retransplantation

Dr Firuza explains, “The OTC procedure involves a laparoscopy to remove a portion of the ovarian cortex. The extracted tissue is meticulously processed in the laboratory, where it is frozen using a slow freezing technique. The frozen tissue can later be retransplanted orthotopically or heterotopically, near the fallopian tube or on the abdominal wall. The regrowth of ovarian tissue post-retransplantation leads to the production of natural hormones, preventing early onset menopause.”

What is the downtime with OTC?

“One of the notable advantages of OTC is its minimal downtime. After the laparoscopy, women can resume light activities the following day and return to full activities within 2 to 3 days, making it a convenient option for many”, adds Dr Firuza.

What is the world-wide success rate with OTC?

Dr Firuza explains, “Despite its low usage rate (8.7%), OTC boasts a high success rate after autotransplantation, with an 86% restoration of ovarian function and a 57% live-birth rate, showcasing its efficacy as a fertility preservation method.”

Is there any age limit for OTC procedure?

For elective or social freezing, OTC is typically offered until the age of 36. “Beyond this age, the quality and quantity of remaining eggs decline significantly, with the woman’s Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) becoming a crucial factor in determining the appropriateness of OTC”, says Dr Firuza.

Ovarian Cortex Freezing (OTC): Benefits

“Apart from increasing pregnancy chances, OTC contributes to hormone production. The natural hormones produced by this method may offer advantages over medical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), providing an additional dimension to its benefits.”

Ovarian Cortex Freezing (OTC): Cost

Dr Firuza concluded, “The cost of OTC includes the laparoscopy procedure, ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 3 lakhs, depending on hospital services and additional procedures. The freezing of ovarian tissue costs approximately Rs. 2 lakhs, covering the first year of ovarian tissue cryostorage. In comparison to two cycles of ovarian stimulation and egg freezing, OTC proves to be a cost-effective option.”