A medical team in Greece claims to have found a way to reverse menopause, by “rejuvenating” the ovaries, thereby extending the window in which a woman can have kids.The reproductive period normally ends at menopause, which in Canada hits on average at age 51. This is the time when a woman stops menstruating (i.e. releasing an egg every month).But for some women, the biological clock is being turned back.“Lots of women focus on their jobs, careers… [until] they’re past the age of 40, [and then say], ‘Now let’s go have a child,’” said fertility doctor Konstantinos Pantos of the Genesis Athens Clinic.“In the meanwhile…menopause has appear and they can’t have children.”
Pantos has helped find a way to potentially change that, using a blood treatment normally reserved to help wounds heal faster. The technique is called platelet-rich-plasma, or PRP, and it triggers growth of tissue and blood vessels.His Greek fertility clinic injected PRP into the ovaries of about 30 women between the ages of 46 and 49, all of whom had already reached menopause.The treatment has apparently been successful in restoring the periods of nearly 70 per cent of the women, including one who hadn’t menstruated in five years.The team has been able to collect three eggs from this woman, according to the New Scientist.
The science is controversial. Some medical experts have criticized the clinic for not following proper protocol, which is to first test extensively on animals before trying a procedure on humans.Pantos admits more research is needed but insists the technique has been tried on mice eggs.The other point of contention is the ethics of extending the natural window of childbirth.“There are things that happen physiologically to us as we age that make it perhaps not advisable for us to be pregnant,” she explained.As we get older, our organs don’t all function as well as they used to. And pregnancy can take its toll on a person’s body.Critics argue that pregnancies in older women can cause “complications that can burden the system.”The women will be in their 70s by the time their children hit puberty.Pantos agrees there should be a future age limit on who can undergo the PRP menopause reversal for fertility reasons. He thinks that should be up to government to decide, though.