A new technique, developed by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California (USA), has succeeded in inducing the ovaries of five women-who were infertile because of a primary ovarian insufficiency-, to produce ovules. One of these women has already given birth to a healthy baby, and another is pregnant.
The technique, which has been called by researchers as' activation in vitro'Or VAT, consists of extracting an ovary - or a portion of it -, treating it, and reimplanting it close to the fallopian tubes of the patient. Subsequently hormones are administered to the woman to stimulate the growth of the follicles, the ovarian structure in which the oocytes will mature.
Women with primary ovarian insufficiency have an early menopause - before age 40 - and must resort to egg donation if they want to have a baby. However, in previous studies it had been observed that these patients still have primordial primary and secondary follicles, so even if they do not have menstrual cycles, they can still be treated with this new experimental technique.
The new technique, still in experimental phase, could also help women with early menopause caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments
Researchers from the St. Marianna School of the Kawasaki Medical University in Japan conducted a study with 27 women, with an average age of 37 years, who had stopped menstruating for an average of 6.8 years, and got ovules mature for fertilization in vitroin five cases. He fertilized these ovules with the sperm of his companions and four embryos were frozen and later transferred to the uterus.
Although the new therapy is in the experimental phase, the authors of the work hope that it can be further investigated, and believe that perhaps it can be tested in women with other causes of infertility such as early menopause caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments.