Would I Have Delayed Menopause with an Operation?

I've been mulling on this question for a few days now since I spotted a story in the news about a new procedure which could potentially allow women to delay menopause and have children later in life.
Madmumof7's youngest child as a baby

The tone of the article I saw was that career women could have this op- removing a portion of their hormone emitting ovaries before they are 35 to be transplanted back later -allowing them to put off having children in the "crucial" years when they are climbing the corporate ladder.

Apparently the operation could theoretically allow women to get pregnant in their 60's or even 70's.

Setting aside the notion that this motive might have been the brainchild of a headline-hunting possibly male news editor, it got me pondering as to whether as a young ambitious journalist I might have been tempted with this option.

(To be fair all the articles I've seen since, including this one from the Birmingham Mail, have stressed the private surgery costing between £7-11K is mainly aimed at helping women with health issues but it still got me thinking) 

The trouble with being young is partly that you don't really believe you will ever be old. Not in the way your mum/nan/aunts have got old. You can't imagine the day when a night clubbing sounds like hell on earth, a nice cup of tea sounds like bliss and comfy shoes call you away from the stiletto shelf in the shoe shop.

Thinking about having babies you don't really worry about the much talked about sleepless nights. After all you've survived Glasto and that epic holiday in Ibiza when sleep was very much not on the agenda.

It's only when you've worn the slightly stained, sweaty baggy "I'm a Mum - Been There, Done That" T shirt that you understand that parenting infants 24 hours a day is very different to living it large surviving on Tequila.

I'm aware this sounds patronising. It's really not meant to be. I'm just trying to get over the idea that having had children in my 20's, 30's and just before I turned 40 I know that if I could do it all again I would not delay having children even though starting relatively young almost certainly impacted my journalism career.

Interestingly, chatting to one of my sons (24) he said from his point of view he is glad we were younger when we had him. He remembers both being more active and he says he worries already about our failing health.

My fibromyalgia and diabetes were diagnosed in my 30's and my son pointed out our younger children have never known their parents before we had health issues.

We are neither of us saying older parents or those with health issues or disabilities are "worse" parents it was just a point he made from his personal experience. He was glad we had him when we were younger and fitter.

It's nice that at the moment we can enjoy spending time with our older children but will we be too old to visit Venice for example when our younger children are in their 20's? And it's sad that our younger children don't remember some of their grandparents who have passed away now.

madmumof7 with husband and eldest son with the FDiL

Maybe people want to wait until they are more financially secure. That makes sense, especially to me after many years of budgeting, self-employed hell and medical disasters leaving us with literally no income at times. However I'm a great believer in the fact that money does not equal love, and kids, especially when they are very young, are as happy with the box that the toy came in as the toy itself.

And later in life it does them good to know that there will always be someone better off than them and a life of "have it all" consumer luxury is not a right. The tooth fairy never dropped a fiver under my kids pillows and we've never been skiing but there are still people worse off than us with equally happy children.

Much has been made of this operation being quick and simple but let's face it, every operation carries risk, leaving aside the fact that the op to put the ovary segment back might fail for some reason.

For those who for medical reasons might need to preserve a section of healthy ovary until later life or after treatment for a serious medical condition I say this is a fantastic opportunity which could protect their fertility. I hope that for those in exceptional circumstances this surgery will soon be available on the NHS, assuming the institution survives our current political climate that is.

For those who just want to earn enough to own a Porsche before pushing a baby out, or want to have it all, career and children, I'd say don't gamble on this op being the answer to your dilemma.

I'm all through the menopause at just 50 and I certainly would have loved just one more child but not to the extent that I would have had the op. I think the procedure should be reserved entirely for those whose medical conditions leave this as their best hope to have a family.

Disclaimer: This piece is not meant to be judge-y in any way. It's just me thinking out loud on whether I would have had the op if it was available to me years ago.

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