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Issue 133 Autumn 2019

Endocrinologist > Autumn 2019 > Hot topics

Reproductive potential and fertility preservation techniques in DSD

| Hot topics

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This systematic literature review by Islam et al. explores the potential for fertility among XY patients with differences in sex development (DSD). While much work has studied the fertility potential of young patients undergoing cancer treatment, there has been an assumption that fertility is less important for those with DSD.

The authors have examined original research articles and relevant reviews between 1974 and 2018 that address DSD and fertility, in vitro maturation of sperm, and histological/ultrastructural assessment of gonadal tissue in complete and partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 3 and 5α-reductase deficiency.

Successful clinical outcomes from ovarian tissue cryopreservation have led to similar research being conducted using testicular tissue and sperm. Cryopreservation of testicular tissue is now offered to boys before cancer treatment. Although data are limited, there is evidence to suggest the presence of reproductive potential in the gonads of some individuals with DSD. As this research progresses, and if results are encouraging, then individuals with DSD should be given the same information, opportunities and access to fertility preservation as other patient groups.

Read the full article in Clinical Endocrinology 91 237−244

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