Doctors HALT the menopause: Revolutionary 30-minute procedure delays the process by 20 years and tricks the body clock with ovary tissue implant into armpit
Authors: Michael Powell and Lara Keay
Women can delay the menopause by up to 20 years with a new 30-minute operation that tricks their biological clocks into thinking they are much younger than they are.
The revolutionary procedure is set to transform the lives of thousands of women who suffer severe side effects of the menopause, such as osteoporosis and heart problems.
For millions more, the appeal of delaying the menopause would be a reduction of often debilitating physical and emotional problems such as hot flushes, a reduced sex drive, night sweats and mood swings.
The surgical procedure, devised by the fertility expert who pioneered IVF, sees tissue from the ovaries, thawed, and then transplanted back into the armpit.
It also has the potential to extend fertility – though doctors say the aim is to postpone the menopause rather than give women the chance to have babies into their 60s.
According to The Sunday Times, nine British women, aged between 22 and 36, have already undergone the surgical procedure, which is being offered privately to any British woman up to the age of 40.
A 10th British woman, Dixie-Louise Dexter, from Woodville in Derbyshire, has also undergone the procedure and called the experience 'life-changing'.
The 33-year-old teacher had been diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 20 and underwent a hysterectomy last year.
She underwent the operation at the same time as having the pioneering menopause treatment, and had her ovarian tissue immediately placed back inside her.
As a result, she claims she no longer suffers from side effects such as pain, mood wings and a bad night's sleep.
She said: 'I was first diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 20 years old. I had about 12 years of going through all sorts of different things.
'I'd had six laparoscopies and I'd got to the point where I needed to do something to take control of the situation.
'I thought my final option to win the battle was to have a hysterectomy.
'It was something I had thought about for a number of years. My husband and I decided together that my quality of life was more important than anything else.'
But when she came in for her consultation, specialists told her about a procedure called ovarian grafting - and that she could treat her condition - and delay the onset of menopause at the same time.
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