New center preserves women's fertility
Women who suffer from medical conditions that risk infertility or who plan to have babies later are being given new hope at the newly established Shanghai Human Fertility Preservation Center, which can store their healthy embryos, eggs and ovarian tissue.
The center at the Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital of Fudan University can receive storage requests not only from its own patients but also patients at other local hospitals, officials said on Monday.
Dr Xu Congjian, president of the hospital and the new center, said women’s demand for fertility preservation was rising along with the age of having babies, the policy allowing all couples to have a second child and the rising number of patients who may be at risk of infertility due to chemotherapy or other medical conditions.
“About 70 percent of women of child-bearing age who have cancer want to have a baby. With improvements in cancer treatment and the increased number of young cancer patients, the demand to retain fertility becomes stronger,” Xu said. “Also, more older women want to have babies as people are getting married later and many couples in their late 30s or 40s want to have a second child. The center is to meet the request of these people and give them a chance to have babies.”
Experts said women with cancer can keep their ovarian tissue at the center for transplant after they finish chemotherapy or other treatments which risk ovarian health. “The technology of ovarian tissue storage has been used in Europe for over 10 years and there have been over 160 cases of delivering healthy children after transplants of stored ovary tissue throughout the world, though it is still a new technology in China,” Xu said, adding that the center had a strong belief that the procedure would bring great benefits to patients.
A number of patients at the hospital have already had their ovarian tissue stored to be transplanted back when they are ready for pregnancy, officials said.