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Ovarian Function and Stem Cells

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 13 Jan 2019 | 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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I am 46 years old and have three failed cycles of IVF and have been told that donor eggs would be the best option for me, but I would love a child that is genetically my own.Please consider me for any trial you may be running, travelling would not be a problem for us. Neither of us has any children and to try this would be our first baby.
Ellen - 13-Jan-19 @ 4:18 PM
I am 47 year old. 1st IVF with my own egg failed. Please add me on your trial. Thank you.
Ella - 9-Jan-19 @ 3:54 PM
Premature ovarian failure at 37. Very low amh. Nil family history. Desperate to have my 1st child. 3 ivf failed over 2 years. Add me to your list as interested party !Sonya
Sunjuice - 7-Dec-18 @ 8:16 AM
Hello, I am 54 and post menopausal for 2 years , I am intersted in participating in stem cell theraphy, thank you.
madenci - 4-Dec-18 @ 6:19 AM
I am 50, single and have no kids previously, Desperate for having baby. I have no problem to travel for this trial. please consider me. thank you
Asma Khan - 28-Nov-18 @ 3:15 PM
I am 44, with POF since teenager. my FSH could reach 150. my AMH is less than 0.1. Desperate for having baby. I have no problem to travel for this trial. please consider me. thank you
Lina - 1-Nov-18 @ 2:24 PM
I am 46 years old. I have POF when I was 21. Doctors diagnosed it later. I have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. I want to get healed and become healthy. I suffered many fractures. I am a strong woman in my heart. I would love to volunteer for trials
GA - 30-Sep-18 @ 7:59 PM
Hello. I am 43 years old,and I am on the menopause from 8 years now. I really want to be part of your trial. Please give me a chance to have a child. Thank you.
Elena - 26-Sep-18 @ 3:50 PM
I am a 49 year old Asian woman with no children.I was diagnosed with POF 13 years ago.I am an American citizen and able to travel for this trial.Please consider me in your next clinical trial.
Lilly - 17-Sep-18 @ 11:57 PM
Hello.I am 38 years of age and been diagnosed with POF.I started an ivf cycle which was cancelled due to poor response to medication. I have never been pregnant before and would be really interested to take part in any studies/trials available or any information available to pursue treatment Thanks Kat
Kat - 17-Sep-18 @ 6:28 PM
I would like to participate in any stem cell trial to achieve pregnancy, I am almost 47 years old with one child 4 years old and would like another one. Is there any place in London you could do it? A piece of advise would be very much appreciated.
Anna - 30-Jul-18 @ 10:25 AM
When I was 16 years old I went on an extreme diet and developed an eating disorder. I was 110 pounds and 5’6” until I got help when I was 27. I gained weight quickly and maintained a weight of 136 pounds with a healthy lifestyle. I’m now 30 years old with ostopoenia. My menses never returned. I do not have withdrawal bleeds when using medroxyprogesterone, nor does birth control help in regulating menses. I have had MRIs and ultrasounds confirming that I have Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. I would love to be a part of a stem cell research group to see if treatment like this could help people in my situation.
Ash - 29-Jul-18 @ 6:06 PM
Im 45 never been pregnant my husbsnd snd I have been trying for 6 years with no luck.Please consider me for the trail. Thank you??
Jen - 26-Jul-18 @ 4:03 PM
I am 35 and been trying to conceive for about 6-7 years. In my life I never even fell pregnant. To investigate I don'e all if the test and they were normal, however I have endometriosis and it is this disease that I believe doesn't want me to fall pregnant. Please consider me for the trial
Agnes - 25-Jul-18 @ 12:21 PM
Hi, I’m 27 years old, I was diagnosed with POF 8 years ago. I want to have a child. If you can include me in your trials And I’m ready to be a candidate if it’s possible. Thanks
Susu - 23-Jul-18 @ 2:58 PM
Please can I be included in your trails I'm 30 just been dignoised with pof had no periods for 12months! Desperate for a family...had scan nothing on my left overie and he couldn't see right very well. I will try anything
Stace - 8-Jul-18 @ 5:56 PM
i am 35. I am diagnosed premature menopause. My left ovary shrinked and right ovary cannot be found. 3 year ago,I was ever diagnosed premature menopause but i still had period on and off at that point of time. Recently, i seem to have stop period. I also had menopause symptoms e.g. Hot Flash, lost slp. I tried TCM and ate placenta live stem.. The symptioms seem to go off. I am interested in the trial too. I hope i have the chance too
Twinky - 6-Jul-18 @ 9:59 AM
I would like to be included in your trials as my husband and I have been trying for 10 years to conceive. I’m now 48
Tzippy - 1-Jul-18 @ 9:17 AM
Trying for 10 years to conceive and I would like to be included in your studies. I’m now 48.
Tzippy - 1-Jul-18 @ 9:14 AM
I went through menopause at 25-28.I am 46 now.Please Consider me
Lilly - 20-Jun-18 @ 9:25 AM
My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for five years, we have done numerous iui, ivf, and mini ivf cycles.I am 48 years old and have no children.We don’t know what else to try.Please include us in any trials you may have or help us in any way you can.
Linn - 7-May-18 @ 12:04 AM
I am 27 years old and I was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukemia when I was 21. Since then I have had 9 invasive rounds of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and a stem cell transplant. Due to all I am now in menopause at such a young age and I am unable to get pregnant. I want a child of my own and I want a somewhat normal functioning body a 27 year old women should have. I am interested in learning more about the stem cell therapy in hopes I may be able to be a candidate.
Kayla - 26-Apr-18 @ 3:25 PM
I was diagnosed with primary ovarian failure when I was just 21 years old..... i am now 36 and desperate to be a mother... I work as a nurse and my husband is a policeman - please help us
Vicky Andrews - 24-Apr-18 @ 12:32 AM
Hi, I’m 35 years old and suffering with pof since 2015...it’s completely changed me and my life... I suffer with severe side symptoms of different Hrt preparations...often totally miserable as i feel horrible all the time...I would love to give this a go and see if it could make me feel any better!
Nancy - 23-Apr-18 @ 2:45 AM
I am 48 years old, who has had a my tubes tied for 8 years. I desire another child via IVF, using my own eggs. I have normal menstrual cycles and a uterine didelphys. I have 3 children, born via c-section. I would like to be a participant in your study.
None - 16-Apr-18 @ 2:38 AM
I am 46, been married for 11 years with 4 failed IVF. Please consider me
Sue - 12-Apr-18 @ 3:56 PM
Please add me to your trial. I am 47 years old, from Germany. I have 2 children from previous marriage . Since 10 yearsI am trying with my partner to have a child.I had 7 failed ivf treatments. Amh is low. Thank you very much
Germany - 7-Apr-18 @ 9:38 AM
I am 51 and had a egg donor baby a year ago. I'd so much love to give her a sibling. Would really appreciate being part of your trial, please add me. I live in England.
Rose - 31-Mar-18 @ 11:15 AM
Hi wouldlike to be added to your trial please after no menstruationafter car accident 6 years ago age 49
Angel - 24-Mar-18 @ 7:25 PM
Hi, I gave birth to a lovely little boy in 2013 when I was 41. I left having a family late because I did not meet Mr Right til almost too late. I fell pregnant naturally and quickly. Eighteen months later I sought fertility advice to try for a second child. But a scan found one ovary had shut down and only one follicle left on the other ovary. Sadly,also my little boy has a chromosomal disorder which I put down to leaving having a child too late. He is a happy boy though! I would still love to have another child if stem cell treatment were able to rejuvenate my ovaries and eggs. Please consider me for any trial in the UK.
Hopeful Mother - 20-Mar-18 @ 10:15 PM
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