A small study suggests platelet-rich plasma and gonadotropins may help restore fertility in women who entered early menopause but want to become pregnant.
The study, published in Menopause, the journal of the The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), said the plasma and gonadotropins were injected into the ovaries of 12 study participants, 11 of whom resumed menstruation and one achieved clinical pregnancy.
NAMS, in announcing the findings, noted how important such research is for women who delayed childbirth but started menopause before age 45, which happens to about 12 percent of women. The women in the study had a mean age of 44.4.
“As more women look to build their careers before pursuing motherhood, the average age of conceiving a child continues to be pushed back. For some of these women, however, their hope of becoming pregnant is cut short by the onset of early menopause,” NAMS said. “For these women, the only chance of becoming pregnant is with donor eggs.
“Although more research and larger studies are needed, these early results regarding the successful resumption of ovarian function offer hope to women in early menopause who may be able to pursue pregnancy through in vitro fertilization using their own eggs.”
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NAMS noted that more traditional approaches, including standard, controlled ovarian stimulation, had been tried but resulted in few pregnancies.
While the plasma and gonadotropins approach will need to be validated with larger studies, it “highlights the promise of regenerative medicine in restoring or prolonging fertility,” Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director said.