Artificial ovaries ‘could be superior to hormone drugs’

New research in rats could result in the possibility of bioengineering artificial ovaries to provide a safer, more natural hormone replacement therapy for women undergoing the menopause.

The team from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, US, has found that engineered ovaries are more effective than hormone therapy drugs at improving bone and uterine health and body composition.

Dr Emmanuel C Opara, study senior author and professor of regenerative medicine at the institute, said: “The treatment is designed to secrete hormones in a natural way based on the body’s needs, rather than the patient taking a specific dose of drugs each day.”

Current hormone replacement medications designed to compensate for the loss of female sex hormone production are typically not recommended for long-term use, as they have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

The researchers have therefore suggested that the cell-based system of hormone replacement, because of its ability to match dose with the body’s needs, is an attractive alternative to drugs and is consistent with current guidelines in the US and Europe recommending the lowest possible doses of hormone replacement therapy.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801842846-ADNFCR