Procedure to delay menopause by up to 20 years

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A medical procedure that aims to allow women to delay the menopause for up to 20 years has been launched by IVF specialists in Britain, reports The Guardian. Doctors claim the operation could benefit thousands of women who experience serious health problems, such as heart conditions and bone-weakening osteoporosis, that are brought on by the menopause. But the specialists believe the same procedure could also improve the lives of millions more women by delaying the onset of more common symptoms of the menopause, which range from low mood, anxiety and difficulty sleeping, to hot flushes, night sweats and a reduced sex drive.

The report says the procedure is being offered to women up to the age of 40 through ProFam, a Birmingham-based company set up by Simon Fishel, an IVF doctor and president of the UK Care Fertility Group, in collaboration with other specialists. “This is the first project in the world to provide healthy women ovarian tissue cryopreservation purely to delay the menopause,” the company’s chief medical officer, Yousri Afifi, is quoted as saying.

Richard Anderson, the deputy director of the Centre for Reproductive Health at Edinburgh University, has performed ovarian tissue freezing for young girls and women for 25 years. He said in the report it was “old news” that the transplants could restore hormone levels, but added: “What is less clear is whether this is a safe and effective way of doing so.” The effects the procedure will have on women won’t be known for several decades.

The Guardian report

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