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expert reaction to story reporting the rejuvenation of women’s ovaries post-menopause

A group of scientists have reported a way to rejuvenate post-menopausal ovaries. All our previous output on this subject can be seen here.

 

Prof. Adam Balen, Chair of the British Fertility Society, said:

“We do not know enough yet about the techniques being used by this team in Greece. More research needs to be conducting including future randomised trials. It is too early to get excited about this particular piece of research and any person seeking fertility treatment should be made aware of the evidence-base behind any treatment being offered.

“Both men and women should be advised about the implications that maternal age can have for fertility, pregnancy and birth to enable couples to make informed decisions about when to plan a family. While the risks should not be overplayed, men and women should be aware that reproductive outcomes are poorer in older women. As well as potentially taking longer to get pregnant, later maternity can involve a greater risk of miscarriage, a more complicated labour and medical intervention at the birth.”

 

 Prof. Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology, University of Sheffield, said:

“How to rejuvenate older ovaries is one of the Holy Grail’s of Reproductive Medicine and so these observations are really quite intriguing. I have no idea how it might be working and whether at all it is safe for the woman or for the babies that might be born from these eggs. So I would urge caution over this development and encourage those involved to undertake the necessary randomised controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficiacy. However, if it were to stand up to scrutiny, it would really be quite an exciting development”

 

* https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23130833-100-menopause-reversal-restores-periods-and-produces-fertile-eggs/

 

Declared interests

Prof Adam Balen: Has acted as a consultant for ad hoc advisory boards for Clear Blue, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Astra Zeneca, Pharmasure, Merck Serono, Organon (now Merck Sharp & Dohme), Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), Gideon Richter and Uteron Pharma. He has been paid for manuscript preparation by these companies and by various universities and societies. He provides expert reports in medical negligence cases for which the fee is paid by the instructing solicitors. Professor Balen’s research is largely funded by public bodies in the UK and European Union, although he has occasionally in the past participated in research projects where pharmaceutical companies have contributed a grant. He has received honoraria and had travel and accommodation expenses covered or reimbursed for speaking at meetings by the pharmaceutical companies listed above, various colleges, universities and societies, and public research funding bodies. His institution has received sponsorship for organising educational meetings and he receives royalties on his books from publishers.

Prof. Allan Pacey: “Chairman of the advisory committee of the UK National External Quality Assurance Schemes in Andrology, Editor in Chief of Human Fertility and Trustee of the Progress Educational Trust (all unpaid). Also, recent work for the World Health Organisation, British Broadcasting Corporation, Purple Orchid Pharma (paid consultancy with all monies going to University of Sheffield). Co-applicant on a research grant from the Medical Research Council (ref: MR/M010473/1).”

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