Over the past five years, doctor’s have made many breakthroughs in the battle to preserve and prolong women’s fertility.
And while I think we’re all familiar with invitro at this point, you may not know much about ovarian transplantation.
The first successful ovarian tissue transplant was performed back in 2004 between two sisters. Only a handful have been performed around the world since then, mainly due to the high cost and perceived experimental nature of the procedure.
Yet, more and more oncologists are routinely considering ovarian transplantation with female patients who have become prematurely infertile due to cancer therapy (sadly it’s reported that this is the case for 90 percent of women who undergo full-body radiation).
In most cases, doctors will remove the woman’s ovaries before she begins chemo then reimplant them later.
Now scientists in Italy have discovered that not only did transplanting ovaries from young mice into aging female mice make them fertile again, but it also rejuvenated their behavior and increased their lifespan by 40 percent.
“Normally, old mice stay in the corner of the cage and don't move much, but the activity of mice that had had ovarian transplants was transformed into that of younger mice and they resumed quick movements,” Dr. Noriko Kagawa, head of the study, stated at a conference yesterday.
Furthermore, she explained that the mice that received two ovaries lived for an average of 915 days while those who only received one lived an average of 877 days.
The scientists don’t have a solid explanation for this yet, but they believe it may be because the transplants were prompting the continuation of normal hormonal functions.
And of course, it remains unclear whether or not ovary transplants have the same effect on women’s life spans since all the recipients are still too young.
What many doctors are certain of however, is that transplantation of ovarian tissue and whole ovaries is the most promising option for infertile women suffering from serious diseases who want to conceive naturally.
In fact, because of continued advancements in preserving and surgically implanting ovaries, it’s predicted that the procedure may become more widely available, allowing younger women to avoid fertility problems as they age.
Basically a woman in her twenties could opt to have an ovary removed and frozen then implanted when they’re ready to have children.
God, can you imagine a world where we could ignore our biological clocks and just live our freakin lives?
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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