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Ovarian Rejuvenation- The Latest News, Hype and Facts- Part One in our Four Part Series

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The use of Stem Cells to improve (and regenerate) ovarian function is turning the World of IVF on it’s head…

Recently, my readers and I have come across some very exciting new developments in how Stem Cells are changing the outcomes for those suffering from Infertility.  Up to now, the dreaded diagnosis of Premature Ovarian Failure, Poor Egg Quality, Low Ovarian Reserve (also diagnosed as low AMH, high FSH, etc.) and the like have been the impossible obstacles to overcome.  Once diagnosed with one of the above (or usually with all three at once) a patient is then given the dire prognosis of a low chance of success no matter how many IVF’s they try.  I know, I heard this all too often throughout my own 12 yearlong journey.  Now, if IVF is your last resort, then what hope can a woman have once this treatment isn’t even a viable option?

I thank several of my readers for updating with some valuable research and insight into a new development in the world of fertility.  Ever heard of Ovarian Rejuvenation? Perhaps not.  It’s a new concept that is still in its infancy here in the U.S. but gaining some major traction in other parts of the world.  Thankfully, my in-depth research has yielded some great studies starting to occur in the U.S. as well so we’ll be catching up with the rest of the world pretty soon, hopefully.  Ready to become hopeful once more? Great! Read on…

STEM CELLS AND YOUR FERTILITY

So what actually is Ovarian Rejuvenation and what does it have to do with the use of Stem Cells? Well, let me give you a brief history of how it all started:

Back in 2010, a breakthrough study conducted by researchers, led by Osama Azmy of the National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt, used a type of embryonic rat stem cells known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to restore ovary function in experimental rats.  Yes! ovarian function was actually restored.  How can this occur?

The study began with the use of 60 rats divided into 3 separate groups.  Three quarters of the groups were given a chemical injection which caused ovarian failure.  A third of these was then given the ovarian treatment, another third given a saline solution or a placebo and the final third was given nothing at all.  All of them had blood work performed to see what results occurred.  Amazingly, within just two weeks, the rats which had received the ovarian treatment regained full ovarian function. Within eight weeks, their blood work showed them to have the same hormone levels as the rats who had no ovarian failure.  This started the ball rolling into further research…

In 2012, another important study was conducted at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.  Led by Dr. Jonathan Tilly, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology and director of the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, the study found that stem cells taken from donated, frozen ovaries could produce human egg cells, otherwise known as oocytes. What the study was trying to disprove actually was the mainstream theory that a woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever produce (unlike men and their sperm supply).  In fact, the study proved that egg-producing stem cells within the ovaries can and will produce new eggs when injected into ovarian tissue.

Both of these studies were major discoveries and clearly show the importance of the use of stem cells to treat a variety of illnesses. Stem cells are what we can call “Master cells” and, when introduced into a specific environment (in this case, the ovaries), they start to “mimic” the cells in question and start to produce new, healthy versions of these cells.  The problem (as I’m sure you’ve all heard through the years) was the controversial use of stem cells taken from donated embryos or embryonic tissue. What if, though, the stem cells being utilized didn’t originate in another human being but within the patient herself? Now, the controversy could be eliminated.  Well, this is exactly what has occurred and is paving the path to the advancements happening today.

~On a separate (but very relevant) note, one of these advancements is being conducted by Ovascience with the development of a variety of treatments using a woman’s own stem cells to produce new, healthy eggs.  For further, very detailed information, read my in depth 3 part series.

What exactly are the latest developments in the use of Stem Cells to overcome Infertility?  Continue on to Part Two in our Series.

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