Fashion expert Trinny Woodall, known for her role in What Not To Wear, recently revealed that she believes undergoing 16 rounds of IVF led to her early menopause. After struggling to conceive, Woodall gave birth to her daughter in 2003 through fertility treatment. However, she soon felt a loss of her vitality in her early forties, which she now attributes to the IVF procedure. Despite being offered antidepressants, Woodall claims that she later learned from Dr Erika Schwartz that each round of IVF shaved a year off her cycle, resulting in early menopause.
Woodall's revelation has sparked a debate among experts, who dismiss the idea that fertility treatment can trigger early menopause. While about one in 20 women experience early menopause, the cause remains unknown for the majority. Woodall, founder of Trinny London makeup and skincare brand, shared her experience on The Shift podcast, stating that Dr Schwartz's book, The Hormone Solution, shed light on her situation. Woodall expressed her surprise at never having been informed about the potential consequences of undergoing multiple rounds of IVF.
Early menopause is characterized by symptoms such as irregular or ceased periods, hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low mood, difficulty sleeping, and reduced sex drive. Woodall admits to only experiencing a few of these symptoms, initially not recognizing their significance. Diagnosis of early menopause is determined by a GP, who assesses symptoms, family history, and hormone levels through a blood test. Treatments include hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or the combined contraceptive pill to replenish missing hormones.
While Woodall considers menopause to be debilitating, she emphasizes her commitment to managing symptoms through hormone treatment and various lifestyle practices like meditation and strength training. However, experts caution against associating IVF or other fertility treatments with early menopause. They explain that fertility drugs utilized in IVF work to stimulate and preserve the follicles that the body has already produced, rather than depleting a woman's egg count. Premature ovarian failure, cancer treatments, and ovary removal surgeries are the known causes of early menopause.
Professor Tim Child, who chairs an advisory committee on scientific and clinical advances in the field of fertility treatment, asserts that there is no evidence linking IVF to an earlier menopause. He highlights that women are typically born with millions of eggs, yet even at menopause, they retain thousands. However, Dr Schwartz, who has observed numerous cases of women reporting early onset menopause after undergoing IVF, believes the connection warrants further investigation.
In conclusion, Trinny Woodall's claim that her IVF treatments triggered her early menopause has been met with skepticism by experts in the field. While Woodall attributes her menopause to IVF, leading doctors stress that the procedure does not deplete a woman's egg count. The debate surrounding this issue highlights the need for further research to explore the potential links between fertility treatments and early menopause.