Thursday, December 11, 2008

Forty is the New Twenty When It Comes to Pregnancy

Photo by SantaRosa

Advances in full ovarian transplant techniques--using a full ovary and reconnecting the blood supply to feed the graft--have led to the live birth of a healthy baby girl, reports Dr. Sherman Silber of the Infertility Center of St. Louis.

Commenting on the potential of full ovarian transplant, Silber identified two groups of patients who stand to benefit from the technique, if frozen ovaries turn out to be as viable:

"One is the young cancer patient who is about to lose all her ovarian function as she's about to undergo chemotherapy. We just take that ovary out, freeze it and transplant it back. That's one big payoff," he said in a telephone interview.

The other, he acknowledged, is more controversial: extending the time a woman is fertile.

Women in their 20s could have one of their two ovaries removed so it can be frozen. "If she's 40 or 45 when she has it transplanted back, it's still a 25- or 30-year-old ovary, so she's preserving her fertility," he said. "We've actually done it for quite a few patients. I think there will be many more women who will want to do that.
I don't see what's so controversial about extending the time a woman is fertile, but one thing is certain. This development goes a long way to lending credence to the "40 is the new 20" meme.



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