Yale doctors: Ovarian tissue freezing could prevent menopause
A doctor at the Yale School of Medicine says he has developed a way to delay menopause in healthy women - possibly even preventing menopause forever.
"About 25 years ago, I developed the first ovarian transplant procedure with frozen tissue," said Dr. Kutluk Oktay, at the Yale School of Medicine. Oktay says freezing tens of thousands of eggs within the ovarian tissue in most women under 40, if done early enough, can prevent menopause from occurring.
The procedure was originally developed to preserve fertility in cancer patients. It could also extend childbearing years.
The tissues are extracted and then kept as low as negative 320 degrees Fahrenheit. That preserves the ovarian tissues for later use when the surgeon reimplants the thawed tissue into the patient. "The cumulative benefits at least up until age 61, 62 would be on the plus side and given the benefits to quality of life at least delaying menopause for about 10 years is safe," said Oktay. Oktay says the more tissue removed, the longer menopause can be delayed, but removing too much tissue can lead to early menopause.
The procedure is available to all women.
Doctors say women who experience menopause later may live longer and have a lower risk for a range of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, dementia, retinal disease, depression and bone loss.