Scientists in Athens, Greece have figured out a new way for menopausal women to get pregnant. And even better, they can get preggers using their own eggs. For the first time, two women who thought they couldn’t get pregnant got pregnant. The technique used is PRP or “platelet-rich plasma” that rejuvenate ovaries, the New Scientist reports.
“I gave up hope on trying to get pregnant,” one of the women said, who is now six months pregnant. “To me, it’s a miracle.”
Dr. Kostantinos Sfakianoudis of the Genesis Athens fertility clinic based in Athens, Greece, directly injected blood plasma into the uterus and ovaries to achieve the results. The hope is that further studies can result in further pregnancies.
The technique is used to speed the healing of sports injuries as well as “vampire face lifts.” Blood is drawn from the patient and spun in a centrifuge to isolate the plasma.
“The clinic is attempting to use this plasma to rejuevenate women’s reproductive systems, injecting it directly into the ovaries and uterus. So far, the team has given this experimental treatment to more than 180 women, many of whom sought treatment because they have a disorder that damages the lining of the uterus,” says New Scientist.
“We’ve had people come from as far as Mongolia,” says Sfakianoudis. While most want to get pregnant, some of these women just wanted to stop the symptoms of menopause, which can include hot flushes, night sweats and thinning hair.”
Sfakianoudis says that it doesn’t work for everyone, but so far, two women have managed to get pregnant, giving women whose biological clocks have run out more time to have a baby.
As an alternative to IVF treatment, the stimulation of the ovaries with this technique prompt the ovaries to release eggs. The embryo is fertilized then implanted into the uterus. The technique has further open a woman’s “fertility window” past the “cut off” age of healthy pregnancies free of miscarriages, often cited as age 35.
“If it works, says New Scientist, the treatment could be used to enable older women to get pregnant. The menopause usually occurs around the age of 50, But he says that it is not his place to judge how old is too old for a woman to start a family. “Some people might not meet their partners until later in life,” Sfakianoudis says. “If there is a treatment that will help them, then why not use it?”