New study 'could lead to treatment for delaying menopause'
A new study could potentially lead to scientists coming up with ways to extend a woman's years of fertility.
Monash University and Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research (PHI) recently discovered that egg cells in the ovaries can die as a result of proteins called PUMA and NOXA.
Findings published in Molecular Cell found that removing these proteins could potentially help to safeguard a woman's fertility after undergoing cancer treatment.
However, Professor Jock Findlay of PHI believes it could also unlock the key to delaying the onset of menopause.
"The timing of menopause is influenced by how many egg cells a female has," he commented.
Professor Findlay said interventions that slow down the loss of egg cells from a woman's ovaries can delay premature menopause and therefore extend fertility.
He added that a treatment devised as a result of the findings could potentially help to reduce health conditions associated with the change, including heart disease and osteoporosis.