The menopause: why so little research on the middle-aged ovary?

September 13, 2019

I recently came across this article in the Guardian concerning the almost non-existent research that has been done on the menopause. When a cell biologist realised she was going through the menopause she started to look into the research available - since she worked at University College London she had access to a vast library of peer-reviewed scientific literature.

 

 

 

Despite this access she found that there were many questions that currently had no answers, such as what are the chemical signals that stop ovarian follicles maturing into eggs when the overall egg reserve becomes low, and what role do ovarian cells other than eggs play in the menopausal process. And how, when we are talking about half the population, do we not know why some women (roughly a quarter) have virtually no symptoms while others suffer hot flushes and night sweats, anxiety and insomnia that can seriously affect their health and wellbeing and may sometimes continue for up to a decade?

 

On the positive side, at least there is much more discussion and publicity now around the menopause so maybe the stigma will decrease and over time women will find it easier to talk about this life stage. The even more positive side is that acupuncture can be very effective in treating these symptoms and greatly reducing, if not eliminating, their impact. 

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