A leading fertility expert has raised concerns over a new medical procedure that claims to enable women to postpone the onset of menopause by more than a decade.
The procedure has been developed by the ProFam fertility company in Birmingham, which says it can help women conceive for longer as well as reducing the risk of developing menopause-related diseases such as heart conditions and osteoporosis.
It is being offered privately to women up to the age of 40. At least ten women in the UK between the ages of 22 and 36 have already paid about £6,000 to have the procedure, which removes a piece of one of their ovaries, freezes it at -150C and stores it in an ice bank until the woman reaches menopause.
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A version of the technique has already preserved fertility in women beginning treatment for cancer.
But Dr Melanie Davis, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at University College Hospital in London, warned against “healthy women going through surgery that would not otherwise be needed in the hope of preserving future fertility and hormone replacement”.