A big day at NAMS with plenty of exciting new information. In the keynote lecture, “Ovarian Aging—Can Science Turn Back the Clock?”,  John Tilly, Ph.D., presented compelling evidence that germ stem cells in the ovary maintain the capability in young mice to be converted into new eggs. This turns on its head the accepted dogma that the female ovary contains all the eggs it will ever have at birth, and never makes new ones. It also raises the possibility that at some time in the future we may be able to see “ovarian replacement therapy,” allowing not only restoration of fertility, but hormone production and enhanced quality of life in women as they age.

A full session was devoted to the discussion of the latest attempts to create a new way to describe the stages of reproductive aging. While of great value to researchers, it will be of special value to clinicians counseling women about their fertility status or the imminence of menopause.

Other sessions focused on “When Sex Hurts,” emphasizing the importance of early treatments for the vulva and vagina after menopause, and the value of local application of estrogen; the new guidelines for prevention of heart disease in women; and a debate on whether there is ever an indication for hormone therapy in asymptomatic women. I will address this issue in one of my columns over the next few months.



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