Two Science stories for you, from this week's papers.
1. Perhaps we can delay menopause. Or stop it. It seems particularly useful for women who have had radiation or who are infertile, but I guess that's me being judgey. Scientists have found cells that can replenish ovaries.
What's interesting about this, for those of you who don't know, is that ovaries are kind of like a gumball machine...What I mean is that a woman is BORN will all the eggs she's ever going to have. (Oh, and I stole that gumball machine thing). So the eggs pop out one a month (give or take), and then at some point your gumball machine is empty.
I think that until recently it was difficult to freeze eggs, although freezing embryos was a lot easier. Which was fine if a woman was married or knew who she wanted to have kids with, but say an 18 year old has ovarian cancer or something, there really wasn't a way to save her own eggs.
2. Now, the way the Pill works, generally, is by suppressing ovulation. All of us on these hormonal methods aren't popping out those eggs, which is why some theorize that at least a short term use of horomones increases fertility. More on that another time. So anyway, scientists also believe that suppressing ovulation decreases ovarian cancer. Of course (gah, because there has to be a drawback), use of the Pill may increase cervical and breast cancer.
I'm skeptical of the cervical cancer thing, and I'd like to make sure the methodology really does account for everything. Since cervical cancer is caused by an STD, women on the Pill are probably more likely to have otherwise unprotected sex, and get HPV. I'm sure more will be coming out on this... Oh, and speaking of, CNN has a little recap of types of contraception, stating that hormonal contraceptives are dominant.