Having Children After Menopause: Is It Possible?


2013-10-01 07:21

Many women go through their lives without ever having children but desperately wanting one, reaching menopause and having their motherly hopes dashed, believing they will never carry a babe. Scientific research has newly found that it is indeed possible to become pregnant after menopause, albeit not naturally. A treatment has been pioneered that allows the ovaries to once again produce healthy eggs.

How exactly is this possible?

The technique which seemingly reverses menopause characteristics is called in vitro activation, in which an ovary or part of it is removed, treated outside and replanted near the Fallopian tubes before stimulating hormones. The Stanford University School of Medicine experimented the technique on 27 women, with an average age of 37 and who had stopped menstruation 6 years prior to the study. Immature eggs were discovered in 13 of them, with 8 seeing follicle growth after treatment and 5 developing mature eggs. That may not seem like much, but when all hope for bearing children has been lost, it becomes a rather bright star to follow.

The mature eggs were harvested, combined with sperm from the partner and transferred into the uterus. One has already had a healthy baby boy and another is pregnant. It boggles the mind how a dried up stream can suddenly flow with bustling rapids, how dried ovaries can once again bear fruit.

Can it work on every woman?

Testing is still in preliminary stages, though there may be hope that those who go through early menopause due to chemotherapy or radiation, as well as infertile women ages 40-45, may become pregnant and have children of their own blood. Not everyone would like to adopt. As such, this new research allows for them to keep the flames of hope alive that they may not need to in order to fill their home with the laughter and mess that come with housing their offspring.

One in 100 women go through menopause before the age of 40. Prof Valerie Baker, chief of Stanford’s division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, said: “These women and their partners come to me in tears. To suddenly learn at a young age that your childbearing potential is gone is very difficult. This technique could potentially help women who have lost their egg supply for any reason.”

A shimmer of hope is often all you need to be happy. When that hope means your infertility might have a cure, many a couple would rejoice. Menopause need not stop a woman’s dreams of motherhood.

Source: UK Telegraph