'Freeze your ovaries for healthy babies later'

Last Updated 28 October 2010, 09:24 IST

Sherman Silber, one of the world's best reproductive surgeons based at St Louis Hospital in the US, says the controversial procedure is so successful at producing babies it should be available on the National Health Service.

He believes it is far more effective than the In-Vitro Fertilisation process and could help millions of women delay pregnancies until they have fulfilled their career ambitions and are ready to settle down.

The procedure involves extracting about a third of the tissues from one of a woman's ovaries while she is in her twenties and at her most fertile, reports the Daily Mail.

This section of tissues - which contains about 60,000 eggs - is then frozen until she reaches her thirties, forties or even fifties and decides to start a family.

It is then thawed and implanted back into her ovary so it can provide her with the same number and quality of eggs she would have had in her twenties.

The operation to extract the tissues takes a couple of hours under general anaesthetic. It only involves removing a third of one of a woman's two ovaries -- leaving a woman with just over 80 percent of her total ovarian tissues.

This means that even if she was to change her mind a few months later and decide to try for children immediately, she would still have hundreds of thousands of eggs.

The operation to put the thawed tissue back into the ovaries is similar to a skin graft. But critics warned it raised the prospect of children being seen as 'consumer goods'.

"An 18-year-old is not going to think about this, maybe not a 25-year-old but a woman should really think about this before she reaches 30," Silber told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Denver.

(Published 28 October 2010, 09:24 IST)

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