Why are women considering ovarian tissue cryopreservation to preserve reproductive and hormonal ovarian function? A qualitative study protocol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction Current fertility preservation options available to women are oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) or embryo cryopreservation. A newer procedure, ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC), has become available in some centres, which offers another option for women and girls considering fertility preservation. These procedures are commonly offered to women about to undergo treatments for cancer. OTC involves removing sections of ovarian tissue and cryopreserving it for future reimplantation, often several years later. OTC offers girls and women who may become infertile with optionality and the possibility of pregnancy. OTC has potential for other applications, including restoring ovarian endocrine function beyond biological menopause. This is not without controversy but has led to some women considering undergoing the procedure for purposes of ovarian hormonal preservation (conservation of ovarian endocrine function). OTC is invasive, involves two surgical procedures with concomitant risks and can be costly. Understanding why women may consider and ultimately undergo OTC is timely, so that evidence-based and women-centred care can be provided. Methods A pragmatic narrative qualitative design will be used. A purposive sample of women aged 18-45 who are considering, or have sought, OTC will be recruited over 1-year period. Potential participants will be approached via a clinic that offers OTC on a private basis or via social media. Analysis Participant interviews will be audio and, if consented, video recorded. These will be conducted face-to-face or virtually. The recordings will be transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic analysis approach supported by NVivo software. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval has been granted by the Institutional Ethical Review ERN_19-1578A. We expect to disseminate the findings of this study through journal articles, conference presentations and multimedia to public.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere051288
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


  • qualitative research
  • reproductive medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Why are women considering ovarian tissue cryopreservation to preserve reproductive and hormonal ovarian function? A qualitative study protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this