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Ovarian Function and Stem Cells

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 7 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
Stem Cells Ovarian Functioning Premature

Ovarian function in women prior to menopause is an important topic. That’s because a number of women who are under the age of forty will develop premature ovarian failure. Statistics estimate that one percent will experience this condition.

What is Premature Ovarian Failure?

When the ovaries of a woman younger than the age of forty stop working, this is known as premature ovarian failure. When this happens, a woman will no longer produce eggs or hormones from her ovaries.

One of the biggest issues when this occurs is that a woman will no longer be fertile. At present, we have no treatment to reverse this process and restore a woman’s fertility. With many women delaying family planning until their thirties or forties, the effects can be particularly devastating for women who experience premature ovarian failure.

Searching for New Treatments

In one recent study, however, researchers were able to restore the ovarian function in rats that had premature ovarian failure. Although it is still a very early study and certainly requires long-term testing on humans, it brings some hope that we may one day find a way to treat this problem.

Stem Cells to Restore Ovarian Function

By using embryonic rat stem cells, researchers found they were able to bring back ovarian functioning in the rats. Initially, they studied sixty mature female rats by dividing them into four groups.

Testing Stem Cells on Ovarian Functioning

In the first group of rats, no treatment was received. This means that the first group of rats was considered the control group to compare other groups to in the experiment. All the other rats in groups two to four received a chemical to trigger ovarian failure. These groups had fifteen rats per group.

For the second group, once ovarian failure had occurred, they were treated via injections of the stem cells. By using male stem cells, researchers could then see exactly where the stem cells were located once injected. They would look for a Y chromosome to identify this location.

For the third group of rats that had ovarian failure, they received a saline solution while the fourth group with ovarian failure received nothing. Researchers then assessed levels of two important hormones to see if the rats that received a treatment went back to normal.

Restored Ovarian Functioning

Results were very positive, showing that within a two week time period, the rats that received the stem cell treatment had fully functioning ovaries again. By eight weeks later, the hormone levels of these rats were the same as the rats who never had ovarian failure – the first group.

Helping Women Regain Fertility

An important step now is to actually investigate how the rats will reproduce and to then ensure that the offspring of the rats are healthy. The study is only a proof-of-concept one and we are still many years away from a treatment. The research does, however, offer real hope that one day in the future we may be able to restore ovarian function in the many women who suffer from premature ovarian failure.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Dear Dr. I am 52 years old having menopause 4 yr before. I wish to become a mother . I would be grateful if I would be added to this test. I am from Indian subcontinent. Hopefully looking forward , thank you Doctor.
Mala - 7-Mar-18 @ 11:29 AM
I would like to participate any stem cell (or any other) trial for achieving pregnancy, 44 years old with very low AMH 0.03 , failed IVF.I have one daughter 17 naturally conceived,everything else looks normal.thanks
tbs - 6-Mar-18 @ 11:01 PM
Pls consider me for a trial as an older person undergoing ivf
Walla - 17-Feb-18 @ 8:23 AM
I waa diagnosed with POF. I am 40 years old and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to be added to this trial.
Honestlybeautiful - 11-Feb-18 @ 2:34 AM
I am 48 and would love to still have a baby of our own. I would love to be considered for this trial.
Jackie - 4-Feb-18 @ 5:05 PM
I would like to be added to your trial please, i am 42 . Thanks
Shy - 28-Jan-18 @ 5:26 PM
Dear Dr. Thank you for Giving hope for woman to have a a by especially this a desir for all woman. I would like to ask is the stem cell is the same thearupatic PRP injection? and if yes is it effective for all woman in age 48? to rejeunvate ovaries and have egg by Balkan e hormone and re period to make ivf successfully. Thanks
Bouthina - 20-Jan-18 @ 6:08 AM
i had unexplained menopause 4 months after my wedding when we were planning for a baby. I was 33. Tried everything to regain my ovarian function but in vain. I'm 46 and I've never recovered from this unfair ordeal but still i have hope for abreakthrough for myself and women who had to go through this.
Misha - 16-Jan-18 @ 1:52 PM
hi. I would be grateful if I will be added to this test as im desperate to have a baby im 48 years married for seven. thank you
ilham - 10-Jan-18 @ 6:32 PM
I am 52 years old had a premenopausal at 30, had to IVF treatment fail and I would like to be add in any trial to become a mother, married for 25 years and never have lose hope to have a child Thank you
Cholicha - 6-Jan-18 @ 7:27 AM
Hi, I'm 46 years old, been married since 2009 and for years now still hoping to have our own bundle of joy. Tried IVF twice but to no avail.. is it possible to be a part of this trial? Looking forward to be hearing from you. Thanks
Ling - 25-Dec-17 @ 12:58 PM
I would really appreciate being added to this study. I am 43 and I had cancer when I was 34 and the treatment left me in early menopause.I’m still extremely interested in having children and have been researching this for years. Have the ability to travel if necessary.
slrjlr - 19-Dec-17 @ 11:45 PM
I am 28 I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 22 however I still have periods ever now and then. I'm desperate for a baby with my husband and would do anything to try.
Prem - 17-Oct-17 @ 8:51 PM
I will be grateful if could be added to the study, am 43, had ovarian failure due to cancer rectum treatment, tried IVF 5 times wasn'tsuccessful, trying to get pregnant for 15 years, am married and my marriage is falling because of that, am healthy, non smoker, on HRT
Matte - 16-Oct-17 @ 5:19 PM
Hi, I ma 47, regular Cycle, two ivf failed I would like to uomini the stem cell treatment for having the "good egg" for pregnancy.
Carletta - 15-Oct-17 @ 9:02 PM
39with hypothyroid & menopause istarted to be in primonopouse at 35 year i had PCO i tried to get pregnant after mymiscarrageat 36 yearsbut i found my self on postmonopouse. i thin it can help some of us
rejoice - 4-Oct-17 @ 3:05 PM
@D - I know how you feel. People say the menopause is just a few hot flushes, but how wrong they are!
Lynne - 29-Sep-17 @ 2:56 PM
Menopausal for about 10 years but HRT only slightly covering symptoms. Would try anything to feel healthy again!
D - 29-Sep-17 @ 5:38 AM
Hi, im 32 yrs old and was diagnosed POF when i was 27. Thanks to God i got pregnanty naturaly and have 2 yrs old boy. However, i would like to involve the clinical trial to get my ovaries function again. Please consider.
N/a - 20-Sep-17 @ 5:22 AM
I am 40 years old. I was diagnosed with pof at the age of 29. I got married 4 years ago. I really want to have my biological children. I would like to be a part of clinical trial on stem cells for ovarian rejuvenation. Pls let me know how I can participate. Thanks.
Hopeful woman - 19-Sep-17 @ 1:56 PM
My daughter and her husband have recently been informed she has Premature Ovarian failure due to low level monosomy X mosciacism F1 gene.Is there any hope of stem cell treatment or trials she can go on that might aid her conceive and have a child in the UK/
WorriedMum - 3-Aug-17 @ 1:37 PM
Ms Hopeful- Your Question:
I would like to be included in the study all I've ever wanted to be is a good Mother. I have been sick for twenty plus years and missed the chance in my 20's and 30's and now I feel that my health is going to get better. But my fertility has paid the price of age. To be robbed of children would kill me. Please please consider me. Ms Hopeful

Our Response:
You would have to look on the likes of Euro Stem Cells clinical trials, please see link here. Likewise the NHS clinical trials list. However, in general terms there are many mothers who conceive naturally in the 40s.
ExploreStemCells - 18-Apr-17 @ 1:49 PM
I would like to be included in the study all I've ever wanted to be is a good Mother. I have been sick for twenty plus years and missed the chance in my20's and 30's and now I feel that my health is going to get better. But my fertility has paid the price of age. To be robbed of children would kill me. Please please consider me. Ms Hopeful
Ms Hopeful - 18-Apr-17 @ 2:32 AM
Hi I would like to be included on the stem cell research.I am currently 51 years old and would like to have another child!! I lost my oldest child 7 years ago!! We have been so sad and would love to a child. I became menopausal about a year ago and I have a tubal ligation. Thank you for consideration!
Angela - 8-Apr-17 @ 4:42 AM
hii..i am 27 years old..i have been diognosed pof at the age of 18..now i am married..i am trying and hoping to concieve..i would like to be a part of clinical trial on stem cells...i have alse heard about the treatment of TCM...i dont know how much it is effective plzzz some one quide me??
tulip - 23-Mar-17 @ 11:27 AM
Hi I am 30 and have been diagnosed with being peri menopausal. I can be jolly one day and glowing skin and look and feel severely tired the next. I have hot flashes, mood swings, spotting, and I may and may not have a cycle. I take Amberen to help cope with they symptoms. I have one child but would like to have more. I am currently divorced and am looking to be married again some day and would like to have children. I honestly feel stripped of my womanhood and it has caused me so much pain. Please help me if you can. I would love to be apart of the study.
HOPE - 11-Nov-16 @ 4:18 AM
Hello I would like to be involved in a clinical trial to help with my decreased ovarian reserve.We have tried multiple iui'sand 1 ivf (so far) with out implantation.I am 45 yrs old and have a had a baby in 2011.My son who was 4 died tragically last year.We are absolutely devastated but are trying to carry on. It means everything to us to have a baby and be a family again.Please help this grief stricken family with the gift of hope.Sincerely Kendra
Momma bear - 26-Oct-16 @ 10:59 PM
I was able to give birth to 2 beautiful girls without so much as one cycle, naturally, but after my 2nd was born, suddenly things went downhill and fast.Within a year, I was considered complete ovarian failure with no explanation.I had my first daughter's cord blood banked when she was born and, if those stem cells could be used to give me the dream of that last baby I have so desperately fighting for, or any other treatment options, I would truly be grateful if you would consider me for your research.Please contact me asap.Thank you so much for all of your hard work to help woman like myself and women in much worse need than I.
Melanie - 25-Jul-16 @ 2:14 AM
hi i had both my ovaries surgically removed together with my uterus. iam keen to restore my ovaries back. please include me in your trial. thanks
peta - 3-Jul-16 @ 2:24 PM
Wise - Your Question:
Hi.I would like to participate in clinical trials for POI and stem cells. I am 34 and diagnosed by POI since 8 years. Actively looking for possible treatments. Please let me know how I can volunteer and get more details

Our Response:
Please see EU Clinical Trials register link here.
ExploreStemCells - 16-Feb-16 @ 12:07 PM
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