Planned oocyte cryopreservation for women seeking to preserve future reproductive potential: an Ethics Committee opinion

For women who want to try to protect against future in- fertility due to reproductive aging or other causes, planned oocyte cryopreservation (“planned OC”) is ethically permissible.

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Volume 110, Issue 6, Pages 1022–1028

Authors:

Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 

Abstract:

Planned oocyte cryopreservation (“planned OC”) is an emerging but ethically permissible procedure that may help women avoid future infertility. Because planned OC is new and evolving, it is essential that women who are considering using it be informed about the uncertainties regarding its efficacy and long-term effects.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

2 Comments

Go to the profile of Courtney Jennings
Courtney Jennings 6 months ago

Curious.  The article mentions that egg banking facilities are not required to report the outcomes of oocytes they've preserved to SART or the CDC.  Can anyone help me understand the definition of an "egg banking facility" and what they do?  Are there any other types of facilities that are helping women freeze their eggs that aren't required to report?

And why?

Go to the profile of Alexander Quaas
Alexander Quaas 6 months ago

Hi Courtney,

The document states that "some facilities, such as those that provide only egg banking, are not required to report to SART or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the outcomes of cycles using oocytes they cryopreserved. This lack of reported data also should be disclosed and explained to prospective patients."

The facilities mentioned are clinics that exclusively provide planned oocyte cryopreservation for women who wish to preserve their fertility. This is in contrast to clinics that offer planned OC as part of their services, but that also provide many other infertility services, such as insemination treatments, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and third party reproduction services.

To make it more confusing, there are also "egg banks" which cryopreserve donor oocytes with the goal of rapidly providing them for prospective recipients of donor egg-derived embryos. The concept of egg banks allows multiple recipients to benefit from one "batch" of donor eggs (eggs derived from one stimulation cycle) and is described here: https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(18)30578-8/fulltext  

(The current status of oocyte banks: domestic and international perspectives. Quaas AM, Pennings G. Fertil Steril. 2018 Dec;110(7):1203-1208. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2018.07.013. Review.)

Hope that helps a bit,

Alex Quaas