Everything you think you know about menopause could be about to change after a team scientists claimed to have found a way to rejuvenate the ovaries of post-menopausal women.
This method is said to have worked even in a woman who had not menstruated in five years.
The results could be groundbreaking for fertility in older women, allowing those who hit menopause to fall pregnant.
The research throws into question the commonheld notion that women are born with all their eggs, and the number steadily decreases in the years between puberty and menopause.
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Sfakianoudis said menopause was coming too soon for many women, as the age at which people choose to have children crept upward.
Many couples are turning to IVF and egg freezing but continue to struggle to conceive.
The new technique seizes on a widely-used blood treatment called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that is thought to speed up the healing process of bone and muscle injuries. PRP is made using a person’s own blood and is believed to trigger tissue regeneration.
Sfakianoudis’s team discovered that PRP appeared to restart menopausal women’s menstrual cycles when injected into their ovaries, allowing them to collect and fertilise eggs released.
About 30 women aged 46-49 who want children have been given the treatment. In two-thirds of cases, researchers have successfully isolated and fertilised eggs.
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“I had a patient whose menopause had established five years ago, at the age of 40,” Sfakianoudis said.
He said she had her first period six months after the PRP treatment. Three eggs have now so far been collected from her, and two have been successfully fertilised with her husband’s sperm.