Exclusive: menopausal women become pregnant with their own eggs
Two women thought to be infertile have become pregnant using a technique that seems to rejuvenate ovaries, New Scientist can reveal. It is the first time such a treatment has enabled menopausal women to get pregnant using their own eggs. The approach is based on the apparent healing properties of blood. Kostantinos Sfakianoudis and his colleagues at the Genesis Athens Clinic in Greece draw blood from their patients and spin it in a centrifuge to isolate platelet-rich plasma. This has a high concentration of the cell fragments usually involved in blood clotting, and is already used to speed the healing of sports injuries, although its effectiveness for this purpose is unclear. The clinic is attempting to use this plasma to repair women’s reproductive systems, injecting it directly into the ovaries and uterus.
Sfakianoudis is planning a clinical trial of the treatment, which will compare the effects of platelet-rich plasma with a placebo injection. Until then, it is impossible to say how well, if at all, the treatment is working, says Kutluk Oktay at New York Medical College. Even once menopause starts, there are still some egg follicles left, so there is a small chance that women can still get pregnant at this stage without any treatment, he says.
NYMC Faculty: Kutluk Oktay, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, medicine, and cell biology and anatomy