The administration of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and gonadotropins could restore ovarian function in women having difficulties getting pregnant due to the early onset of menopause.
Women are getting pregnant later and later in life. The average age of mothers at first birth in the US was 26.9 in 2018 up from 21.4 years in 1970. As women age, their reproductive capacity becomes increasingly limited. For some women, it is even impossible to reproduce due to early menopause. It affects women under the age of 40, but can also occur earlier. On average, 12.2% of women are affected. How to reconcile childbearing and early menopause? Researchers have a hypothesis. In The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), they explained that they have found an experimental and promising treatment to restore reproductive functions in these women.
One woman became pregnant
The research team conducted a pilot study on a small group of women who were injected into their ovaries with a serum consisting of platelet-enriched plasma and gonadotropins, hormones that act on the ovaries. Eleven of the twelve women resumed their periods. One of them became pregnant. “These early results offer hope to early menopausal women who could become pregnant through in vitro fertilization of their own eggs,” the researchers said in a statement.
What causes early menopause?
Menopause coincides with the cessation of ovulation and thus the possibility of becoming pregnant. At the same time, menstruation disappears. It is a real hormonal upheaval that can cause different symptoms, more or less disabling, such as sleep disturbances, fatigue, and hot flashes. The risk of certain diseases, such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease, is increased as women become menopausal. Early menopause can be genetic, but it can also be the result of medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. So far, attempts to treat these women to restore their fertility have not been successful: ovarian stimulation, injection of platelet-enriched plasma, etc. Few of these methods have allowed women to become pregnant and carry their pregnancies to term.
For the authors of this new trial, this new technique is a promising avenue for women in early menopause, although further studies are still needed to confirm these encouraging initial results.