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Ovarian Function and Stem Cells

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 23 Mar 2017 | 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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[Add a Comment]
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
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
Wise - 15-Feb-16 @ 9:29 PM
Gudd - Your Question:
I am 30 years old and diagnosed with pof 5 years back. Married and trying to conceive for 6 years. Would really like to join the trial for stem cell therapy Thanks

Our Response:
Please see EuroStemCell site here for more on how you can sign up to clinical trials. I hope this helps.
ExploreStemCells - 13-Jan-16 @ 1:40 PM
I am 30 years old and diagnosed with pof 5 years back.. Married and trying to conceive for 6 years.. Would really like to join the trial for stem cell therapy Thanks
Gudd - 12-Jan-16 @ 10:46 PM
Would you please name the study you reference here?
AK - 25-Dec-15 @ 2:30 AM
Doca - Your Question:
I'm 42 with hypothyroid therapy, and I'm interested in participating in your trial. I' ve had 4 natural pregnancies which ended up with missed abortions and after I tried IVF rounds(5), with no sucsses. Diagnosis is : low ovarian reserve ( poor responder). I want to have my biological child and I would appreciate a lot beeing added to this study.Thank you!

Our Response:
I am afraid we are not a hospital or research centre. You would have to apply directly to a research centre where they are carrying out such trials.
ExploreStemCells - 22-Dec-15 @ 2:35 PM
I'm 42 with hypothyroid therapy, and I'm interested in participating in your trial. I' ve had 4 natural pregnancies which ended up with missed abortions and after I tried IVF rounds(5), with no sucsses. Diagnosis is : low ovarian reserve ( poor responder). I want to have my biological child and I would appreciate a lot beeing added to this study. Thank you!
Doca - 22-Dec-15 @ 10:02 AM
sss - Your Question:
I am interested in how can I join a stem cell trial as well. Diagnosed with POI at the age of 39! Many thanks for your help in advance!

Our Response:
Please see EuroStemCell link here for more information.
ExploreStemCells - 12-Nov-15 @ 2:32 PM
I am interested in how can I join a stem cell trial as well. Diagnosed with POI at the age of 39! Many thanks for your help in advance!
sss - 11-Nov-15 @ 1:49 PM
hi. diagnosed with POF at 38.Otherwise healthy until then.Would love to be included in a clinical trial on stem cells.I don't know why there is such a stigma against stem cells in US. I've been doing TCM but it hasn't brought my period back yet.I'm 41 now and the clock is ticking.I need help fast!!!!!!!!!
junebugcdb - 30-Oct-15 @ 10:58 PM
I would also appreciate being added to this study. I've been through IVF rounds with no success and am currently 44. Would you kindly advise contact number so I can directly apply for consideration. Thank you!
Biba - 1-Oct-15 @ 5:28 AM
Binky - Your Question:
I would greatly appreciate being added to this study. I've been through IVF rounds with no success and am currently 44. I'm well educated and very healthy but have low egg reserve. Thank you!

Our Response:
You would have to apply directly to be considered for this.
ExploreStemCells - 2-Sep-15 @ 12:00 PM
I would greatly appreciate being added to this study. I've been through IVF rounds with no success and am currently 44. I'm well educated and very healthy but have low egg reserve. Thank you!
Binky - 1-Sep-15 @ 12:21 PM
I am 30 yrs old, was diagnosed with POF at 23yrs old. I have been trying to get pregnant for 4 years. I am fit, eat healthy, non smoker and have been with my husband for 12 yrs. I would love to participate in a clinical trial for POF.
V85 - 16-Aug-15 @ 4:43 AM
Hi, I am 25 years old, started my menstruation when I was 11/12 until 16. Diagnosed with POF at the age of 17 with no known reasons after doing all tests. Have had no hope, besides egg donor which we are not comfortable with. Married at 23 now waiting for advances in medical treatment to cure my ovaries. I was on HRT until I was married, and stopped for 2 years and now on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Please contact me for clinical trials. I am keen to be involved.
Indonesia - 10-Aug-15 @ 4:51 AM
47 with hypothyroid & menopause at 46 tried to get pregnant after the both of my 7 year old born in 2008.No luck.Please contact me I Am interested in the trial.
selavee - 22-Jul-15 @ 3:30 PM
I have been married for 4years we tried so many doctors and the all give up on us we really want have are own kid please contact me if i could join in ur trails we keep on trying and searching
Baby - 5-Jun-15 @ 8:10 AM
Please, I also would like to be added to the list when clinical trials become available.I am 52 yrs. old and post menopausal. I have been unable to have children due to ill health and early menopause I still desperately hope that by some miracle with research that I can have my own biological child. Please add me to the list. Thankyou.
Danielle - 2-Jun-15 @ 6:58 AM
Please, I also would like to be involved in clinical trials when they become available. I am 52yrs. old and post menopausal. I have been unable to have children due to ill health and early menopause. I still desperately hope that by some miracle with research that I can still have my own biological child. Please add me to the list.
Danielle - 2-Jun-15 @ 6:38 AM
There is two places that offer this treatment. One is Emcell in Kiev, Ukraine and the other oe is Relifemed in China. The treatment costs about 10000USD in Kiev, you have a two days stay...in China you are there about 30 days but it includes also treatment with traditional chinese medicine. Costs are between 25000-30000 USD but price incudes full lodging at the hospital. We are looking into these two possibilities to try, you`ll find websitesabout the hospitals when you google them. Of course you will find also a lot of negative comments but positive ones as well also.
Tim - 25-May-15 @ 8:49 AM
@halee9 - You can check if there are clinical trials via the NHS site here. I hope this helps.
ExploreStemCells - 20-May-15 @ 12:47 PM
I would love to participate in a clinical trial as well! I'm only 26 and was diagnosed with POF at age 17. I have no hope on having a child without this treatment. Please contact me when this becomes available for human trial!! Thanks
halee9 - 16-May-15 @ 10:55 PM
@Tiwie - I am sorry to hear this. I imagine this area of stem cell research hasn't yet passed over to human research and this will take a while before it happens. As specified in the article 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.
ExploreStemCells - 27-Mar-15 @ 9:53 AM
I am 46yrs old pre menopausal, I have never had children, married at 40 and been trying since, I have tried three failed IVF treatments due to low quality eggs and my last scan showed no folicles, my periods have also stopped. I would love my own biological child. I would like to take part in the stem cell clinical trial please. The prospect of not having my own biological child is devastating for me.
Tiwie - 27-Mar-15 @ 9:33 AM
Hi I would love to be involved in the ovarian stem cell trial, diagnosis diminished ovarian reserve at 32, and now I'm 38 and desperate to to find a cure. It's fantastic some research is going on:)
Roses - 9-Mar-15 @ 12:34 AM
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