Baby born after infertile woman has ovaries 'reawakened'

 

A previously infertile woman has given birth to a healthy baby, after scientists discovered a way to beat the menopause by inducing ovaries to produce eggs.

The 30-year-old woman gave birth to a son in Tokyo last December and another woman is also now pregnant using the same technique. Researchers in the US and Japan believe it could offer new hope to women who run out of eggs early in life, in findings described as a "game changer".

The study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used 27 female participants who had been diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency, an uncommon form of infertility sometimes referred to as early menopause.

It appears in approximately 1 in 100 women of a child-bearing age. The cause of most cases is unknown, but the outcome is that the ovary has trouble producing eggs.

A US team based at Stanford University and a team of researchers from the St Marianna University School of Medicine in Japan, worked to activate the few remaining follicles - eggs in the ovaries which are not fully formed.

They removed the ovaries from the women and applied two techniques to 'wake up' the dormant follicles.

First, the women's ovaries were cut into strips, which were frozen. Later the strips were thawed and cut into tiny cubes, a step intended to stimulate maturation of the follicles.

Then the cubes were treated with drugs to encourage further development of the follicles. Cubes were then transplanted just under the surface of the women's fallopian tubes.

Within six months, eight women showed signs of follicle maturation, and five of them produced eggs for fertilization in the lab with their husbands' sperm. The fertilized eggs were grown into early embryos, which were frozen for preservation.

Dr. Kazuhiro Kawamura of the St. Marianna University School of Medicine said the woman and her child were both in good health.

After the experimental procedure, Kawamura and colleagues were able to recover eggs from five of their 27 patients. One woman went on to have a miscarriage, one did not get pregnant, and two more have not yet attempted pregnancy.

Aaron Hsueh of Stanford University, senior author of the study, said researchers found that half the 27 patients had no follicles at all, which meant the treatment could not help them and needed to be developed further.

Speaking to the BBC, Prof Hsueh said: “It has to be improved to figure out the best way to do it, but we estimate it could help 25 to 30% of the women.

“We think it could help in two other forms of infertility. Cancer survivors after chemotherapy or radiotherapy; if there's any follicles left there's a chance this will help."

Kawamura released a photo of himself holding the newborn shortly the child's delivery. He said the mother hopes to have another child using the same technique.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
tech
Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teachers and Support Staff

£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher or L...

English and Media Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English & Media Teacher - ...

Y1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Y1 Teacher required for a So...

Senior Financial Services Associate - City

Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - FINANCIAL SERVICES - Senior...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week