Researchers say a new revolutionary procedure has now made it possible for women to postpone menopause, for up to 20 years, even for life, if a woman wishes. Also, the procedure can help women to preserve their fertility.
The groundbreaking technique is called hormonal restoration. Thanks to the pioneering work of a team led by British in-vitro fertilization (IVF) expert, Professor Simon Fishel of the CARE fertility group, willing women can now decide to delay their attainment of menopause.
The technique involves harvesting a tiny part of a healthy ovarian tissue from a young woman through a 30-minute operation. The harvested healthy ovarian tissue is then frozen at a temperature of minus 150 degrees Celsius. In that state – cryopreservation – the tissue can be kept safely for years.
When the need for it arises, for example when the signs of menopause first begin to set in, the harvested frozen healthy ovarian tissue is then replanted under the same woman’s skin.
Each sliver of ovarian tissue can be effective for up to 20 years, according to Professor Fishel. But the process itself can be done over and over, in fact, indefinitely. It could be done every decade if required.
According to the pioneers of the technique, the healthy ovarian tissue functions normally and tricks the body into maintaining the natural hormonal level without variation.
Even though the woman may be “old”, the ovarian tissue under her skin is “young”, as it were, functioning at the optimal level as it was when the healthy ovarian tissue was first taken from the woman.
Prof. Fishel noted that the procedure was reserved in the past for cancer survivors to enable them recover their fertility and so has been known to be safe and effective. The use is now being widened for otherwise healthy women who would like to manipulate their attainment of menopause.
The Times of Israel quoted Professor Fishel as saying:
“For the first time in human history, women will be living as long in the menopausal state as the pre-menopausal state, if not longer, and millions suffer from a whole range of medical problems related to being in the menopause”.
At the moment, the procedure is only available on a private basis and could help many women going through the unpleasant symptoms of menopause to sail through.
There have been mixed reactions to the advent of the new technique. Many believe that the natural course of life should be honored and not tampered with. Others feel that such delay in menopause could make symptoms of menopause harder to bear when menopause eventually does arrive.
Yet, others argue that to delay childbirth into when a woman is already old and frail could raise ethical issues and make the complications of pregnancy and labour worse.
But for many women, this may be a life-altering experience with potential to ease the burden of their lives.
Today, many women undergo hormone replacement therapy just to treat their menopausal symptoms. This groundbreaking operation could help ease the pains of such women and make their lives easier.
According to Prof. Fishel, healthy ovarian tissue could be harvested up to the age of 40. This could vary, however, depending on the onset of menopause in the mother of the woman whose ovarian tissue is being targeted for harvesting and the number and quality of potential eggs in the ovarian tissue to be harvested.
A note of caution though; late-life unintended pregnancies must be avoided because of the many risks associated with it.
On this revolutionary procedure, Professor Fishel told The Guardian:
“This has the potential to be of significant benefit to any woman who may want to delay the menopause for any reason, or those women who would have taken HRT, and there are lots of benefits around that.”
So, would you like to delay your menopause? You may need to part with up to 11,000.00 pounds as the cost of the procedure.