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Assisted reproduction techniques for premature menopausal women

Speaking in support of World Menopause Day, Dr Victoria Verdú, coordinator of gynaecology at Ginefiv Fertility Clinic in Spain discusses the issues of premature menopause and treatment using donated eggs for premature menopausal women who want to become pregnant.


Egg donation as a means of becoming pregnant for premature menopausal women

Egg donation allows women with premature menopause to become mothers. The donation is a simple procedure with a pregnancy success rate of 57% for each embryo transferred.

Why do some women suffer from premature menopause?

Premature ovarian failure, which occurs in one in every hundred women under 40 years of age, is the abnormal cessation of the activity of the ovaries prematurely triggering the amenorrhea and decreased secretion of estrogen, with consequent loss of fertility.  Chromosomal disorders, autoimmune diseases such as diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, radiation or chemotherapy treatment, viral infections and even smoking are among the causes of ovarian failure.

A woman is born with a certain number of eggs.  During the menstrual cycle thirty of them mature but only one completes the process and abruption in the fallopian tube during ovulation. "The rest of eggs that fail to complete the process are lost in what is called follicular atresia. Some women experience this very quickly, which shortens their reproductive cycles", explains Dr Verdú.

What are the symptoms of premature menopause?

Women with premature ovarian failure have symptoms similar to those of the menopause. "These are amenorrhea and symptoms associated with low levels of estrogen, for example hot flashes, sleep disorder and emotional disturbance, decreased sexual desire and vaginal dryness," said Dr Victoria Verdú.

Other symptoms of premature ovarian failure are the onset of osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, depression and autoimmune diseases.

How is early menopause diagnosed?

Early menopause is diagnosed through a detailed examination of the patient’s medical history, physical and gynaecological examinations, and a blood test to assess levels of estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone.

Is egg donation the best way for premature menopausal women to become pregnant?

"In the case of premature menopause there are effective treatments for ovarian stimulation, and the best option to achieve pregnancy in these women is egg donation," said Dr Victoria Verdú.  Egg donation is a technique aimed at those couples whose infertility problems can be solved by replacing their reproductive cells with ones from anonymous donors who are young, healthy and have fertile eggs. "It's a simple procedure that can result in a pregnancy rate of 57% for each embryo transferred, and even reaches 94% during the 4th cycle. In this way, one achieves in vitro fertilization with a donor egg and sperm from the couple”, explains Dr Verdú.

What is the best way to remain healthy during treatment?

According to Dr Verdú, women with premature menopause should follow a set of healthy recommendations that include moderate exercise, a diet rich in calcium and no smoking. It is also advisable to continue hormone replacement therapy to prevent future symptoms and problems.  Mental and emotional health problems that can cause anxiety and depression, particularly if you have not fulfilled your wishes to become a mother, should be treated.

Visit Ginefiv's website.

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