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Having children in old age may be possible for women!

A new study has shown that a procedure used to treat infertility in women with cancer may now be the solution to delaying menopause indefinitely.

Mathematicians discovered that by transplanting previously harvested ovarian tissue into a woman, they could rebuild the follicles needed to restore her fertility.

This process is called ovarian tissue cryopreservation, and it has been used on cancer patients who would otherwise become infertile due to early menopause caused by cancer treatments.

By harvesting and freezing ovarian tissue, menopause can be delayed or even eliminated if the tissue is cut back into pieces, with multiple tissues replaced, just before menopause occurs.

The procedure has not been studied in humans, but if successful, it could mean women will be fertile into their 70s and beyond.

“For the first time in medical history, we have the ability to delay or eliminate menopause,” said study co-author Kutluk Oktay, an ovarian biologist and assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine (YSM).

Cryopreservation should not be confused with freezing a woman's eggs, which allows her to become pregnant later in life but before menopause.

When removed, the ovarian tissue is stored frozen, stored in airtight containers and kept in an environment with temperatures as low as -320 degrees.

The tissue is then thawed, usually years later, and re-implanted under the patient's skin and within 10 days is reconnected to the surrounding blood vessels to restore ovarian function.

The whole process takes about three months, according to YSM.

Oktay compared the process to a parent's decision to freeze his child's umbilical cord blood upon birth in case he needs it later in life for any health problems.

He added that freezing ovarian tissue works in the same way, and it can also be extracted during a separate procedure such as endometriosis. The tissue will remain alive for 24 hours, allowing the gynecologist to send it to the laboratory to be frozen.

Oktay developed cryopreservation technology in the 1990s and performed the first ovarian transplant on a cancer patient in 1999.

In recent years, he has focused his efforts on applying the same procedure to treat premenopausal women, and created a mathematical model that predicts how long the procedure can delay menopause.

Source News : Published on 25-1-2024 - Daily Mail -

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