Infertile young women could still get pregnant by using a new technique successfully experimented on two patients. By using this technique, a woman gave birth to a baby in Japan.
A second woman has become pregnant using the same method, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a U.S. journal.
Although scientists warn that the method still needs research, they say as well that the technique could offer hope for young women whose ovaries are no longer producing eggs.
“Our treatment was able to awaken some of the remaining primordial follicles and cause them to release eggs,” said senior author Aaron Hsueh, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. Human females are born with about 800,000 of these follicles. Most of them will remain inactive, but normally one follicle develops to maturity each month and releases an egg.
The research involved 27 women whose ovaries were no longer producing eggs, a condition also known as primary ovarian insufficiency. Their average age was 37.
All had stopped menstruating nearly seven years earlier on average, and all agreed to have both ovaries removed as part of the experiment, according to the international press. Their ovaries were dissected and treated with stimulant drugs, then transplanted back. Afterwards, eight of the 13 patients showed signs of follicle growth, and were treated with hormones to stimulate ovulation.
One woman gave birth through caesarean operation, another one is pregnant, two are preparing for embryo transfer or are undergoing additional egg collection, and one woman was implanted with an embryo but failed to become pregnant, the researchers said.