Freezing ovarian tissue can delay menopause

Hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings are some of the unpleasant symptoms that some menopausal women experience. Although symptoms are usually temporary and treatable, menopause can also increase the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Some researchers and companies are now making a bold statement: Collecting ovarian tissue, freezing it at a young age and transplanting it back into the body years later can restore hormone production, potentially delaying the onset of menopause for many years.

The fact that there are few options for treating menopause has led some doctors to suggest this unconventional procedure — a technique commonly used to restore fertility in people undergoing chemotherapy or who have entered menopause prematurely. Study of modern modeling in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology It is estimated that reimplanting parts of frozen ovaries every few years can maintain the cyclic hormonal fluctuations that cause menstruation. This can delay the natural onset of menopause by decades if it begins in people younger than 40 years.

Experts have raised concerns about using this technique to delay menopause in healthy people and have questioned whether such a goal is necessary at all. They say its ability to reduce the risk of health conditions is overstated. Scientists say current treatments for menopausal symptoms are simpler and safer than the procedure, which requires surgically removing tissue from women in their 20s or 30s, freezing and storing the tissue for decades, and performing multiple surgeries to transplant the tissue with the goal of maintaining premenopause. Hormonal function after menopause.

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However, proponents of the technique say that new treatment options are needed and there is already interest in them. Kutluk Oktay, a reproductive biologist at Yale University and lead author of the nonclinical modeling study, says about 20 “carefully screened” people chose to keep ovarian tissue at his clinic in anticipation of a possible postponement of menopause. These people were eligible for certain health reasons, including a family history of early menopause and a high risk of menopause-related diseases. Others who initially stored tissue for fertility reasons leave open the option of using the tissue to delay menopause.

“As more evidence emerges, we may find ourselves applying this technology to achieve these general benefits for everyone,” Oktay says. “But in the beginning we are more selective.”

Megan Vasquez

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