Can Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment Reverse Menopause?
For many women, menopause is a devastating event that causes detrimental physical, emotional, and psychological effects. Hormonal and biochemical changes occurring before, during, and after menopause wreak havoc on a woman’s body, producing plenty of undesirable consequences.
Menopause is a natural biological process with no proven treatment to cure the disorder. A new all-natural and minimally invasive medical treatment claims to turn back the clock on women’s ovaries to reverse menopause.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) ovarian rejuvenation therapy is gaining popularity for restoring periods and boosting fertility. Can platelet-rich plasma treatment reverse menopause and restore your periods?
Why Do You Get Periods?
Women of reproductive age have a hormonal cycle that prepares their body for a possible pregnancy every month. On average, a hormonal cycle is 28 days, with menstruation occurring once in a 28-day cycle. The first day of menstruation is the first day of your hormonal cycle, with menstruation typically lasting two to seven days.
On day 14 of your hormonal cycle, your ovaries will release a mature egg so it can get fertilized by a sperm. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm within 24 hours, it could lead to a possible pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilized by a sperm within 24 hours, your reproductive hormone levels will plummet, resulting in menstruation within the next few days.
During menstruation, your reproductive system will discharge the unused content that it had prepared for pregnancy. The discharged content includes blood, the thickened lining of your uterus (womb), unfertilized eggs, and dysfunctional embryos.
The unused content that is discharged by your body during menstruation is also known as the period. For most healthy and non-pregnant women, menstruation occurs every month, from the onset of puberty until reaching menopause.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is when women stop having their periods for 12 consecutive months. If a woman has not had a period for one year, she is said to be in menopause.
Menopause is a natural biological process. As women age, their ovaries produce less and less reproductive hormones, leading to reduced fertility over time. Menopause occurs when ovaries produce negligible amounts of reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.
For the overall majority of women, menopause occurs after the age of 45. A small minority of women, about 1% of the female population, experience premature menopause, which is reaching menopause before the age of 40. For most women, menopause is an unwelcome life-changing event that drastically reduces a woman’s quality of life.
The hormonal and biochemical changes that occur due to menopause cause several undesirable consequences. Menopause causes weight gain, dry skin, and thinning hair, reducing your attractiveness. In addition, menopause induces sexual dysfunction, vaginal dryness, and decreased libido, deteriorating your sex and quality of life.
Menopause also triggers or aggravates mental disorders. Reduced estrogen levels after menopause can trigger or aggravate mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and psychosis.
Menopause induced psychological and mental disorders can become so debilitating that many women resort to hormone replacement therapy and antipsychotic medication to relieve their symptoms.
Other undesirable effects of menopause are:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
- Fatigue; lack of energy
- Mood changes
- Cardiovascular disease
Currently, there is no scientifically proven treatment to cure menopause. The undesirable effects of menopause can be somewhat alleviated by taking hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy artificially restores your sex hormone levels back to pre-menopausal levels, relieving your menopause symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy causes its own set of side effects, such as fluid retention, nausea, and an increased risk for breast cancer.
To avoid risks associated with hormone replacement therapy and naturally restore ovarian function, many women are turning to platelet-rich plasma ovarian rejuvenation therapy to reverse menopause.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is an injectable medical procedure that uses platelets derived from your own blood to heal damaged tissue and generate new tissue. Your blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets.
Platelets are cell fragments in your blood that help minimize blood loss by clotting at the site of injury. Platelets also possess healing and regenerative capabilities as they contain a variety of growth factors that stimulate tissue healing and regeneration.
PRP therapy’s inherent regenerative capabilities have made it an integral feature of regenerative medicine. PRP therapy has been used since the 1990s in orthopaedic, plastic, and oral-maxillofacial surgery to speed up wound healing. The injectable treatment is recently being used in dermatology to reverse hair loss.
The use of PRP treatment as a regenerative medical procedure has expanded into and used in obstetrics and gynecology to rejuvenate dysfunctional and ageing ovaries.
How Does PRP Therapy Work to Rejuvenate Ovaries?
The concept behind PRP therapy for tissue healing and regeneration is derived from your body’s own biological immune system response to an injury. When your immune system is alerted of an injury, it immediately transports platelets to the site of injury, where the platelet’s growth factors work to speed up tissue healing.
Platelets have more than 30 different growth factors that are used to promote cellular growth, healing, and regeneration. Platelets’ growth factors also induce angiogenesis, which is the generation of new blood vessels to maximize blood and nutrient supply to the target site.
The healing and regenerative capabilities of platelets is popularizing its use in fertility clinics. PRP therapy is used in fertility clinics as an ovarian rejuvenation treatment to reinvigorate ageing and dysfunctional ovaries and reverse menopause.
The experimental treatment is hypothesized to reinvigorate failing ovaries by generating new blood vessels and stimulating new cellular growth in your ovaries. The generation of new blood vessels maximizes blood and nutrient supply to your ovaries. Further, the stimulation of new cellular growth promotes new ovarian tissue generation.
The combination of new ovarian tissue and increased blood supply reinvigorate your ovaries, stimulating your ovaries to produce sex hormones similar to levels they produced before menopause, resulting in restored monthly menstruation.
A limited number of studies into PRP therapy for ovarian rejuvenation reveal promising results.
A clinical experiment conducted in Greece to assess the efficiency of PRP treatment for ovarian rejuvenation found a high response rate to the treatment from the participants. In the clinical experiment, 30 menopausal women aged 46 to 49 were administered PRP injections into their ovaries. After six months of receiving the treatment, two-thirds of the women participating in the study had reversed their menopause and restarted their periods, including a woman who had not had a period in five years.
Other smaller studies on PRP treatment for ovarian rejuvenation also reveal positive results. A small study conducted by the University of Athens on three menopausal women found menopause reversal and restoration of periods six months after receiving PRP treatment for ovarian rejuvenation.
Another PRP ovarian rejuvenation study conducted on four menopausal women and published in the Journal of Gynecological Endocrinology found improved ovarian function and restoration of menses two months after undergoing the procedure.
PRP Ovarian Rejuvenation Procedure
The PRP ovarian rejuvenation procedure is a non-surgical, experimental medical treatment with no hospitalization or significant downtime required. Before the procedure is performed, blood tests are conducted, and an ultrasound is performed on patients’ ovaries to determine whether they are the right candidate for the procedure.
For women who do not menstruate, the procedure can be performed at any time. For women who menstruate regularly or irregularly, the procedure must be performed during the menstrual period, or early in the menstrual cycle. Generally, the procedure is best performed during the first half of a menstruating woman’s monthly cycle.
The procedure is traditionally performed in fertility clinics and under general anaesthesia to reduce patient discomfort. While different clinics employ different methods to inject PRP into ovaries, the PRP ovarian rejuvenation procedure typically involves the following steps:
- 1. Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm.
- 2. The patient’s blood is centrifuged to separate the PRP from other blood components. The PRP is then extracted to be used in the ovarian rejuvenation procedure.
- 3. The patient is sedated to reduce discomfort.
- 4. The PRP is then injected into one or both ovaries using a long and ultra-thin ultrasound-guided needle. The PRP is injected in multiple shots along the surface of the ovary evenly, so the entire ovary is infused with PRP growth factors.
- 5. The patient goes into a brief recovery period, which usually does not last more than 2 hours.
- 6. The patient goes into a brief recovery period, which usually does not last more than 2 The patient is discharged after a brief recovery period.
Multiple blood tests and follow-up visits will be required for 12 weeks after the procedure to assess the patient’s response to the treatment. Serum sex hormone levels are analyzed to examine the effects of the treatment on ovarian function.
If the patient’s sex hormone production levels increase after the PRP treatment, the treatment will be perceived as successful in rejuvenating the patient’s ovaries. Once sex hormone levels reach pre-menopausal levels, monthly menstruation is resumed, signalling menopause reversal.
Who is an ideal candidate for the PRP ovarian rejuvenation procedure?
In general, the ideal candidates for the PRP ovarian rejuvenation procedure are women under the age of 50, perimenopausal women (women who are about to enter menopause), and women with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). Limited studies have shown that these types of patients respond well to PRP ovarian rejuvenation treatment.
Are the results temporary or permanent?
Some patients respond quickly to the treatment, while for others, it takes longer. Generally, patients should see results within three months of the treatment. Treatments results are temporary, and typically last for a year.
PRP Ovarian Rejuvenation Treatment Safety, Risks, and Side Effects
PRP ovarian rejuvenation therapy is an all-natural, non-surgical, and experimental medical treatment that is perceived by the medical community to be a safe and low-risk procedure.
PRP ovarian rejuvenation treatment uses the patient’s own blood to rejuvenate their ovaries. As a result, the patient does not need to worry about transmissible diseases, immune system rejections, or allergic reactions resulting from the procedure.
There are minimal side effects associated with the PRP ovarian rejuvenation procedure. Some of the side effects include:
- Abdominal pain right after the procedure
- Internal bleeding
- Blood vessel and nerve damage
- Anesthesia side effects, such as confusion, nausea, and vomiting
Complications resulting from the PRP ovarian rejuvenation procedure are rare. The most common side effect of the procedure is moderate abdominal pain immediately after the treatment. The pain can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications.
PRP Ovarian Rejuvenation Treatment Cost
PRP ovarian rejuvenation treatment is a pricey procedure that is not covered by insurance, as the procedure is still perceived to be experimental. One course of PRP ovarian rejuvenation treatment can cost approximately $5,000 to $8,000 per treatment course.
The treatment’s results are not permanent. The patient will likely need an annual maintenance treatment to maintain their results.
Platelet-rich plasma treatment has been used since the 1990s in other medical fields for healing and regeneration with satisfactory results. PRP ovarian rejuvenation treatment, on the other hand, is a new experimental medical procedure with limited large-scale research and clinical evidence certifying its efficiency.
The small number of studies conducted so far reveal promising results, but is not enough to guarantee the efficiency of the treatment. More studies and clinical evidence are required to prove the efficiency of PRP treatment for rejuvenating ovaries and reversing menopause.
The treatment could potentially help prevent or reduce the detrimental effects of menopause in the near future, and consequently, enhance a menopausal woman’s quality of life.