Remember that thing called your biological clock? Well, apparently, it may be able to be tampered with–for your benefit. Greek scientists are working on perfecting a method to “restart” a woman’s reproductive system after menopause. The new procedure involves ovarian “rejuvenation,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Kind like something out of “Frankenstein,” but just with your ovaries.
Konstantinos Pantos, a fertility specialist and doctor based in Athens, Greece, recently spoke about the experimental procedure in Cosmopolitan. Basically, ovarian rejuvenation is the process of removing blood from the arm and placing it in a centrifuge, physically separating the molecules that trigger tissue and blood vessel growth.
Then, doctors inject the treated blood into the uterus. After one to two months, the ovaries will start to create follicles, which allow ovulation to occur. Pantos explained why it’s possible:
“Women who have been in menopause, whose ovaries aren’t working, who’ve ceased to produce follicles—they’re ovulating. In theory, that means the woman can get pregnant.”
After this process successfully occurs, the women then go through artificial insemination. Since none of the women in the study have given birth yet, it is hard to say how successful the method is overall. However, it is amazing that one of his 40-year-old patients has already gotten her period, which is five years after she went through an early menopause. As of now, the oldest patient is 49 years old. Pantos explained how this is a success either way:
“Ovaries which have gone dormant are starting to work again. We don’t know if it’s temporary or permanent, but it’s reassuring. I’m very, very hopeful.
Women in their 40s were coming to us to get pregnant, so we set out to help their ovaries start ovulating again. If a woman is healthy and wants to get pregnant with her own biological material, I think she deserves to…Our aim isn’t to enable 75- or 80-year-old women. We’re not trying to surpass nature, just extend its boundaries. There have to be limits to what you do, and our goal isn’t to keep everyone ovulating.”
Regardless of what happens in the rest of the study, it’s fascinating to learn more about the science behind the ability to get pregnant after menopause–and of course, we hope this could positively change how, and when, women are able to get pregnant.