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Artificial Ovaries to Help Infertile Women

Artificial Ovaries to Help Infertile Women

Wednesday, 4 July, 2018 - 06:15
A pregnant woman. (photo credit: REUTERS)

For the first time in a breakthrough that promises hope for infertile women, scientists have developed “Artificial” human ovaries. They also successfully grafted follicles which then grew to become normal eggs.

The development achieved by researchers at the Rigshospitalet in Denmark, which could be available within three years, means women with malfunctioning ovaries can look forward to getting pregnant naturally.

The technique will be of particular benefit to female cancer sufferers whose fertility is often destroyed by radio and chemotherapy, as well as patients with multiple sclerosis and certain blood disorders.

Medics already know how to remove the cells from the ovary tissue, allowing re-implantation with no malignant risk, as revealed at the European Society of Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Barcelona.

Stuart Lavery, a consultant gynecologist and reproductive surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The beauty of this is that many of the women who are having ovarian grafts can go and get pregnant naturally, and don't need to go through IVF.”

The Daily Telegraph reported that the “artificial ovary” was implanted into a mouse, and the process succeeded after several attempts. The technology has already achieved good results in skin repair operations.

Professor Nicholas Macklon, from the University of Southampton, said artificial ovaries could become available to patients in clinical trials within three years.

Dr. Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midlands Fertility Services, said another advantage of ovarian tissue transplants is that they could enable women to extend their periods and fertility.

A similar study was conducted in mice in May 2017. The researchers then reported the success of an ovaries implantation experiment developed through a three-dimensional structure, in mice whose researchers sterilized but were able to replicate after the experiment. Industrial ovaries were implanted in a number of female rats that were able to give birth naturally and breastfeed, but, scientists ruled out its applicability to humans. However, the new technique seems to be promising for women suffering from infertility and pregnancy problems.

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