New approach could transform fertility treatment

5 July 2012

Women could effectively remain fertile indefinitely thanks to a novel approach developed by an expert in the US, which could transform IVF treatment forever.

According to Dr Sherman Silber, a surgeon at St Luke's Hospital in St Louis, Missouri, ovarian transplants may help older women to conceive and also mean that disease of the womb and ovaries no longer render women infertile.

She has been involved in transplants for 11 women at the hospital and says it is possible to remove the ovaries and freeze them, for example while women undergo treatment for cancer, and then reinsert them when they are older so that the patient can have children.

This new form of fertility treatment could mean that the menopause can effectively be bypassed and people can starts families at a much older age, she explained.

Dr Silber noted that a woman born today has a 50 per cent chance of living to 100, which means they are going to be spending half of their lives post-menopause.

"But you could have grafts removed as a young woman and then have the first replaced as you approach menopausal age.

"Some women might want to go through the menopause, but others might not," she added.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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