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New procedure could delay menopause indefinitely

New procedure could delay menopause indefinitely

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A team of researchers presenting at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology say they have developed a technique that puts menopause on hold by freezing pieces of a woman's ovary.

People are living longer, which means that they can have more time to plan for important life steps. And although many women would like to delay childbirth, that biological clock has always gotten in the way. Until now.

A team of researchers have developed a technique that puts menopause on hold by freezing pieces of a woman's ovary.

Doctors surgically remove a woman's ovary tissue and then, when the woman is ready to conceive, the ovary issue is transplanted back into the body. The Week says that the "newly attached sample of youthful ovary tissue acts as a sort of rejuvenating catalyst that makes the entire ovary defy its real age and function like a much younger organ."

The research was presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology in Istanbul.

Women who go through the procedure reduce their risk of osteoporosis and heart disease that naturally comes with the end of fertility, but, The Telegraph reports, "the technique may raise a woman's risk of breast and womb cancer due to having higher estrogen levels later in life."

The procedure has already been performed and resulted in the successful birth of 28 babies according to researchers. The doctors that presented the new discovery say that it could be used in about 10 to 15 years as an alternative to IVF treatment after additional data has been collected.

Discovered: A way to delay menopause...forever?  [The Week]

Photo via flickr/one tiny spark

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Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure