“Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” W. Churchill
You are born, you are a baby, then a child, then an adolescent -when you and your body start to sense their reproductive role, then an adult and all of a sudden, as years go by -faster and faster as you grow, you are losing your period and the chance to start a family!
It is indeed the end of the beginning. But that is all! It is the end of the specific beginning as you know it. Modern medicine using technology has evolved immensely the last decade so there are a few facts that allow us not to throw the towel yet to the fight against infertility!
How does Menopause affect me?
Menopause can affect women in so many ways! It can be related to an assortment of feelings, both positive and negative. Around the hour of menopause, a few of us experience relief since we never again need to stress over having periods or using conception prevention. Truth be told, some report being more joyful after menopause than they were previously.
For others, however, the quick hormone variances and the physical changes that are related to menopause can prompt emotional episodes, nervousness, crabbiness, sentiments of pity, troubles with memory and focus, and even melancholy!
We have an expanded danger of creating critical burdensome indications after we enter menopause, regardless of whether we don't have a history of depression. Research has discovered that between the ages of 45 and 64 — a timeframe that matches with menopause — have the least enthusiastic prosperity of all ages.
There are some physical effects as well, such as vaginal dryness, chills, hot flashes, slowing down the metabolism making you gain weight, hair thinning, dry skin.
Along with all these, we have to deal with aging and not being reproductive and able to conceive anymore -as society expects us to have done earlier- and then we start to panic and even second-guessing ourselves and the decision that led us to the current state!
Why is this happening?
How does culture affect Infertility Treatments’ evolution?
Cultural standards are driving an increasing number of women to delay pregnancy, usually until our forties or fifties. Regardless of whether you have delayed beginning a family to seek after your profession, as well as advanced education or you wish to start a new family with a new partner, postmenopausal pregnancy is indeed achievable with Frozen Donor Egg or trying a less invasive treatment such as Ovarian Rejuvenation PRP which can balance your hormones and you can begin your journey to achieve natural conception!
The premenopausal and menopausal period is not so easy to handle! Many physical and psychological changes happen and nobody is prepared, especially in cultures constantly trying to avoid and prevail over aging!
Society standards are so powerful that even in educated countries with a high standard of living, being less fertile either due to age or to a medical condition is not something that is easily accepted! The stigma attached to the incapability to conceive can be even bigger in developing countries.
In addition to that, religion can exclude women from certain treatments -such as Egg Donation, thus we can safely say that infertility is a very delicate topic to undertake!
One way or the other, culture undoubtedly affects infertility on a large scale. If we didn’t want to succeed in other aspects of life, we would stick to the patriarchal way of living, giving birth young when infertility issues are rarer and infertility treatments would not have evolved so much.
But the “ifs” are meaningless to discuss.
We can discuss the facts.
At what extent can menopause be manipulated?
As mentioned before, fertility treatments -although relatively new, have evolved extremely and offered solutions to infertility. For example, IVF with Egg Donation allows women with Ovarian Failure and relevant medical conditions to conceive and give birth with a percentage of 50%. The procedure is similar to standard IVF, except that the eggs are sourced from a friend or from an anonymous donor or an egg bank. The success rate varies depending upon the age of eggs, retrieval process, and quality of semen as well as the overall health of the women involved.
On the other hand, if we take into account that menopause average age is 50, IVF and Egg Donation is off the table since the age limit in Greece is exactly 50. If you are under 50 and have premenopausal indications, you can consider Ovarian Rejuvenation Treatment (PRP) that balances your hormones, gives you back a steady period, and allows you to try conceiving naturally or considering IVF.
PRP Treatment is ideal for women with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) typically younger than 40, women with early perimenopause, women who have a low ovarian reserve, and those with low Anti-Mullerian (AMH) hormone (AMH) levels. It is the least invasive vaginal method. PRP would initiate your ovaries to produce youthful eggs.
This method was first presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Helsinki, Finland by a group of greek researchers led by gynecologist Konstantinos Sfakianoudis. He said, “It offers a window of hope that menopausal women will be able to get pregnant using their own genetic material.” With the blood treatment, PRP, or platelet-rich plasma -which was often used in sports injury recovery, the research revealed that it could reverse the period for women in menopause. Which means that some could try conceiving naturally! If under 50 and cannot for any reason begin the natural process of conceiving, you could take the treatment and then try IVF using your own eggs. Last but not least, it is a way of reducing menopause symptoms which in some cases are intolerable.
In other words, a new window has opened! Keep in mind though that this window is not permanently open. There are no safe testimonials to report regarding the timeframe. Every case is unique and is affected by many factors. Some of us may react faster, menstruating the first month or after 8 months. We may keep our cycle for 4 years or for 6 months.
The only safe thing to say is that if the treatment is successful, you have the chance to try but no one can guarantee any result!
A pause is not an end
All eventually end in life. We are destined to come into this world, not knowing anything about our journey but yet having complete awareness of its inevitable end. It is the price we pay for being conscious due to our uncharted brains!
In many cases though, this infinite potential is our greatest ally! We have managed to overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable and evolve. We are in the position to say that in some rare cases, we can change our route of life and head towards our wishes.
The only prerequisite is to know ourselves, to act on our own behalf, to free ourselves from what society imposes to us, and to take an unaffected decision.
Infertility and menopause tend to be taboo. But if you had a toothache, it would be completely understandable to visit the dentist, don’t you agree?
Let's think simply and get rid of the things that are holding us back!
Let’s be humans!