New 'menopause delay' procedure – pros and cons
A new medical procedure claims to allow women to delay the onset of the menopause by over a decade, BBC reports. But experts have raised concerns over the procedure.
The procedure involves surgically removing a small portion of one of the ovaries - which is then formed into tiny strips and frozen. They can then be melted and inserted back into the body.
Prof Simon Fishel, the leading IVF expert behind ProFam, the Birmingham-based company that has created the procedure, says it increases their chances of having a baby in later life and can combat health issues associated with the menopause - such as heart conditions and bone weakening. But its long-term safety and success remains untested.
Some women have already paid at least £6,000 for the procedure, BBC reports.
New possibilities later in life
If the patient wants the section of the ovary put back inside her to help her have a child, it can be reinserted near her fallopian tube later in life.
If her wish is to slow down the menopause, it can be placed in a site where there is good blood supply - usually the armpit doctors explain.
The earlier in life the initial procedure to remove part of the ovary is carried out, Prof Fishel says, the greater the benefits - as there will be more eggs and the ovary will be more "hormone-packed".
Prof Fishel accepts the procedure is "experimental" as a whole but says its component parts are not.
A similar procedure has been used successfully by doctors to help women at risk of losing their ovarian function as a result of cancer treatment.