How it works

Following a comprehensive consultation you will attend our hospital clinic for the surgical removal of a fraction of the ovarian tissue by laparoscopy. The operation will normally last about half an hour and you will need to stay in the hospital only for a few hours after the operation.

The tissue will be sent to our specialist laboratory and will be carefully and professionally prepared by our trained experts, with the aim of producing precise slices of ovarian tissue. These slices will then be frozen at very low temperatures where the tissue and the eggs will be preserved.

They can remain healthy in this frozen state for many years.

If you wish to consider using your tissue for conception, or for delaying the menopause at some stage in the future, the tissue will be thawed and transferred (grafted) back in to your body. Most women gain full hormone production within 4-6 months (further details are provided under FAQs).

Why delay the menopause?

For some women the menopause causes limited problems. They may suffer with little or no menopausal symptoms.

However, for very many women the menopause can cause a series of problems, resulting in most countries having menopause clinics to help woman with a range of menopause-related issues. These include increased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, vasomotor symptoms, decreased libido, depression, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction and diminished cognitive function.

The main option for such women is to use the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), but unfortunately this does not agree with all women. Furthermore, many do not wish to take pharmaceutical hormones, and the delivery of these hormones does not follow the natural rhythms of the body’s own hormones.

Young women today are destined to live in the menopausal stage for 30-40 years (or more), but throughout history most women did not live much beyond their fertile period. Although modern lifestyle and medicine are ensuring we live much longer, the intrinsic nature of the ovaries has not changed, and unless we use modern technology to preserve them, the ovaries will cease to function at around 45-50 years of age, leaving a woman with 4 or 5 decades of menopausal issues. Delaying menopause with ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation later in life can extend the period a woman live in pre-menopausal stage. Years of meticulous research has now allowed women to delay their biological clock.

Would removal of ovarian tissue affect my future fertility and onset of menopause?

The removal of a precise amount of tissue should have little or no bearing on your future fertility or when you will naturally begin the menopause. However, it is possible that menopause could commence a little earlier, but this is likely to be greatly outweighed by delaying the menopause for a decade or longer with the transplantation of stored ovarian tissue.

How do I find out more?

Book a consultation and review our FAQs.

University of Birmingham CAREfertility