New anticancer treatments have increased survival rates for cancer patients, but often at the cost of sterility. Several strategies are currently available for preserving fertility. However, the chances of achieving a pregnancy with one technique are still limited. A combination of methods is therefore recommended in order to maximize women’s chances of future fertility. In this retrospective study, ovarian stimulation with subsequent ovarian tissue extraction on the day of oocyte retrieval were combined and the quality of the ovarian tissue, the numbers and quality of oocytes, time requirements, and the safety of the strategy were examined.
Fourteen female patients suffering from malignant diseases underwent one in vitro fertilization cycle. Different stimulation protocols were used, depending on the menstrual cycle. Transvaginal oocyte retrieval was scheduled 34–36 h after human chorionic gonadotropin administration. Immediately afterwards, ovarian tissue was extracted laparoscopically.
A mean of 10 oocytes were retrieved per patient, and 67% of the oocytes were successfully fertilized using intracytoplasmic sperm injection. No periprocedural complications and no complications leading to postponement of the start of chemotherapy occurred. The ovarian tissues were of good quality, with a normal age-related follicular distribution and without carcinoma cell invasion.
An approach using ovarian stimulation first, followed by laparoscopic collection of ovarian tissue, is a useful strategy for increasing the efficacy of fertility preservation techniques. The ovarian tissue is not affected by prior ovarian stimulation.