Ethics and Oocycte Cryopreservation

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ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS There are several ethical issues surrounding oocycte cryopreservation. These issues vary based on whether there are medical indications for fertility preservation or for elective use in otherwise healthy women. Oocyte Cryopreservation for Medical Indications Medical indications for oocyte cryopreservation include but are not limited to women undergoing treatment for cancer and women at risk of premature menopause, including women with galactosemia or Turner’s syndrome. While embryo cryopreservation is typically preferred given demonstrates higher rates of successful pregnancy outcomes, some women may have ethical objections to embryo cryopreservation and others may lack a partner when faced with the need to make this decision (Bltyh et al. year?). Some of the ethical issues that arise when contemplating fertility preservation for these patients includes the right to procreate, the risks and benefits of delaying treatment for fertility-sparing procedures, and the well-being of future progeny and the disposition of unused gametes [REF]. Many groups consider reproductive rights to be a manifestation of patient autonomy or a human right [31, 32]. Furthermore, the potentially shortened lifespan in a patient with cancer is not sufficient reason to deny a patient the opportunity to reproduce, although there are potential risks to offspring including possible early loss of a parent, or potential risks of physical defects or cancer in the offspring themselves due to lingering treatment effects, mutations, or risk of the process of fertility preservation itself [33]. Informed consent for fertility preservation is another ethical issue that may arise in the treatment of children and adolescents with cancer. ... ... middle of paper ... ...s in the field of oocyte cryopreservation. Oocyte cryopreservation may be performed by a slow-cooling process or by oocyte vitrification, which decreases ice formation and osmotic stress in the oocytes. Recent studies have shown similar fertilization and pregnancy rates for fresh and vitrified oocytes. Oocyte cryopreservation has the potential to simplify oocycte donation and could extend egg banking to women with decreased ovarian reserve as well as to oncologic patients. Though more controversial, these procedures may also be of use to women that desire to delay childbearing. As oocyte cryopreservation continues to advance it is certain to be increasingly integrated into the clinical practice of assisted reproductive technology. However, there remain ethical considerations for the use of oocyte cryopreservation as a method of fertility preservation at this time.

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