Research description

Adult women who risk losing fertility due to gonadotoxic treatments are offered fertility preservation in the form of cryopreservation of oocytes, embryos or ovarian tissue. All of these routines are established clinical routines. If the patient has recovered and has wishes for pregnancy, cryopreserved oocytes and embryos can be used for in vitro fertilisation, cryopreserved ovarian tissue can be transplanted back. Unfortunately, there is no such established routine for pre-pubertal girls, making them the only patient group in Sweden that has no systematic opportunity for fertility preservation. 

Due to the immaturity of the oocytes in pre-pubertal girls, fertility preservation through cryopreservation of oocytes or embryos is not possible. This leaves only ovarian tissue cryopreservation as an option. However, it is currently not clear if ovarian tissue from young patients is functionally similar to adult ovarian tissue. Earlier studies have shown that ovarian tissue from young patients contain more follicles with abnormal morphology and have worse grow potential in vitro compared to follicles from adults (Anderson et al. 2014 Hum Rep). With SveaFertil we will implement the first national fertility preservation project for girls and young women in Sweden and to develop fertility preservation options for young patients through molecular characterisation of child ovarian tissue. SveaFertil will generate an unprecedented collection of detailed data on human ovarian biology from childhood to adulthood, which will help us tremendously in developing appropriate fertility preservation options for young patients.