A new blood treatment pioneered by Greek researchers is said to have the ability to rejuvenate ovaries in post-menopausal women, enabling them to release eggs once again.
The treatment involves the injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the ovaries, which can stimulate tissue rejuvenation. In the study, it appeared to restart the menstrual cycle of some post-menopausal women, enabling the collection and fertilisation of the released eggs.
In one case, a 45 year old patient was able to experience her first period since going through menopause five years earlier.
Konstantinos Sfakianoudis, a gynaecologist at the Greek fertility clinic Genesis Athens told New Scientist magazine that this treatment
“offers a window of hope that menopausal women will be able to get pregnant using their own genetic material”.
Some groups have raised concerns though; indicating that the ethical and social implications surrounding reversing menopause, and opening the doors for motherhood at a later age, have not yet been adequately examined. The overall health and fitness of the mother for example may need to be considered, and there are higher health risks faced by older pregnant women that may need to be assessed and monitored.
The technique however, holds potential for younger women experiencing infertility too. Researchers found that three out of six women tested who had had multiple miscarriages and failed IVF attempts are now pregnant and in their second trimester after receiving the treatment.
Overall, the treatment is an exciting and promising find.