Vitality

How To Delay Menopause: New Procedure Promises To Give Women Extra 20 Years

Women commonly start experiencing the menopausal transition at ages 45 to 55. During this period, they become at risk of health problems such as fractures and faster weight gain. 

But they may soon have the option to delay menopause. Researchers from England developed a new procedure that promises to give extra 20 years before the transition. 

The team at ProFam in Birmingham, England, tested the approach with 10 women, aged between 22 and 36. It involved taking some tissue from the patient's ovary and preserving it cryogenically.

The researchers said they will re-attach the tissue to the woman’s ovary when she ages closer to menopause. They believe that the procedure could help restore the patient's younger, natural hormones.

"A hundred years ago, the average life expectancy was in the 50s," Dr. David Agus, a medical contributor for CBS News, said. "So menopause, osteoporosis, increased heart disease, obviously hot flashes, potentially memory problems, and others, you can delay that with this procedure."

He added the same procedure has been proven effective to improve cancer risk and cognitive function. 

"Women who are about to undergo chemotherapy that can bring on menopause at a very young age, we've been able to store pieces of their ovary and then re-implant it and many of them have been able to go on and have children," Agus said. 

However, he noted the researchers have yet to determine the benefits and side effects of the new procedure. It is the first time doctors would use the surgery to delay menopause. 

"This is very different, though. These are women who don't have any other medical issues to delay menopause," Agus said. 

The doctor hopes the researchers will closely monitor the participants to see how the procedure would affect their health. If ever the surgery causes side effects after the team re-implanted the preserved tissue, Agus noted they can remove it again. 

He explained that the tissue can be active again as soon as it is attached to the ovary. But it can also be taken out again without harming the patient to avoid further damage if the researchers notice unwanted effects. 

Women A new study suggests that the years ahead of menopause can be the most exciting period for women to have sex "in response to their dwindling fertility." Pixabay

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