Is it good or bad to delay the menopause? Health experts debate new procedure

Is it good or bad to delay the menopause? Health experts debate new procedure

08/05/2019

From hot flushes to mood swings, the menopause is something that most women dread.

So, when a revolutionary new procedure claiming to delay it by up to 20 years was announced, females across the country certainly meno-paused for thought.

So far, nine women aged 22 to 36 have had the 30-minute procedure at the Protecting Fertility and Menopause (ProFaM) clinic, in Birmingham.

And it claims to relieve symptoms of the menopause and allow women to remain fertile into their early 50s.

The treatment works by giving patients an operation to remove a small part of the ovary, before it’s cut into slivers and stored at -150C. It can then be reinserted back into the woman’s body when she wants to delay the menopause, to kick-start her natural hormones.

But while it may seem like the perfect solution, there have been concerns over how effective it is and whether it really is the best solution for everyone.

We spoke to two experts about whether ovarian grafting is really the miracle the menopause has been waiting for…

'NO'

Joyce Harper, a professor in reproductive science at the Institute for Women’s Health, UCL

"I’m at a loss at to why women would want to do this.

"Firstly, you have to have the ovarian tissue frozen when you are under 35.

"This is the age when most people are trying to get pregnant naturally – so it could be risky to go for the procedure at the same time as doing this. It’s also expensive and involves an operation.

“When you’re 35, there’s no way that you can know what your menopause is going to be like. Women could ask their mums to get an idea, but every woman is different, so by having the procedure, you may end up doing something that you didn’t need to do.

“And even if it really did delay the menopause for 20 years then we need to ask whether we’d really want to go through the menopause when we’re in our 60s and 70s, when our bodies can’t cope with it as well as if we were younger.


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