Would you halt the menopause if you could?
The week began on Sunday with an exclusive write up in the Sunday Times with a dramatic headline “Doctors Halt the Menopause”. As a result, the week has been filled with TV, Radio and other media platforms debating the pros and cons of having this surgery.
This pioneering operation has the potential to allow women to delay the menopause for up to 20 years by deceiving the body clock into thinking they are younger than their years. For many, this would be a real life-changer as medical advancement such as this could mean that women who enter the early menopause and forego their chance of children could now have the opportunity of childbirth. This procedure would be welcomed by those who, perhaps, have other medical conditions which would offer a much needed mental or physical breathing space.
What is the cost of the procedure?
With all attention-grabbing headlines sometimes it’s important to look beyond the bold typeface and read the small print. The most immediate and obvious drawback is the money involved, with a procedure costing between £3-£7000 for the removal and storage of the ovarian tissue which is then transplanted or grafted for a further fee of £4000. As more and more women are living longer and the time in the menopause can sometimes last longer than their fertile years this must be seen as an attractive option, aside from the cost.
What is the debate of the procedure?
With the average age of the menopause at 51 there has also been debate this week as to how women see their lives in their 50s. While some would see this time as a depressing one when children leave home, the ageing parents are in need of constant monitoring and care, and the work environment may be sapping too much of the remaining energy levels there may be little to celebrate.
However, many see this era as an opportunity to regain the years spent on a treadmill of household duties, work commitments, family and financial pressures and strip off all those layers that have weighed heavily on those shoulders. Time to start making plans and ticking off their to-do list....wish list.
For those who just want to get the menopause over and done with or who sail through without noticing a major change, it is welcome news that all women will have the chance to make the most of all their years. Let’s hope that very soon this treatment will become available to all and not just to those with a heavy wallet.