News / Health

Researchers Re-Create Eggs to Treat Infertility

For years Jim and Teresa Pica-LeRuo have been trying to have a child. They attempted several infertility regimens, including intrauterine insemination, and once became pregnant before complications caused her to lose the child, Sept. 16, 2005.
For years Jim and Teresa Pica-LeRuo have been trying to have a child. They attempted several infertility regimens, including intrauterine insemination, and once became pregnant before complications caused her to lose the child, Sept. 16, 2005.
Jessica Berman
Researchers working with laboratory rats have developed a technique that could someday help infertile women who lack usable eggs because of a hormone imbalance to conceive with new eggs created from their own ovaries.

Many women are unable to conceive because of a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome, in which the ovaries fail to secrete enough hormones to stimulate egg production.  Injury to the ovaries caused by radiation or surgery also can interfere with a woman’s ability to produce enough viable eggs, or oocytes, to achieve pregnancy.

Anthony Atala is director of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Atala says polycystic ovary disease is also commonly seen in older, pre-menopausal women. “What happens is as people get older, the fertility potential goes down and it goes down substantially.  In fact, after age 30 it drops off markedly.  And after age 40, it is very hard to get pregnant and it has to do with the egg quality that’s present in the ovaries,” he explained.

An estimated 10 percent of women struggle to become pregnant for at least a year.  After that time, they are considered to be infertile.

Atala and his research colleagues stimulated the production of immature eggs from rat ovary cells.  Atala says the cells are the equivalent of those in a 25-year-old woman.

They bathed the cells for one week in a petri dish filled with a nutrient-rich culture of chemical growth factors, and then placed the cells beneath a gel cover that allowed the cells to grow three-dimensionally instead of in a single layer.  After three weeks, scientists tested the immature eggs - which were protruding from clusters of ovarian cells -- for growth, hormone production and their ability to express genes.  

Atala says the young eggs produced hormones seen in normal, early-stage oocytes. "Our work is still in its very early stages," he said. "But it does really show that in fact cells be obtained and eggs can be developed.  And they can be matured at least up to a certain point.”

Atala says the next step is to try to coax viable eggs from human ovarian cells.  Atala envisions employing  in vitro fertilization techniques, which would use the father's sperm to artificially fertilize the newly created oocyte outside the womb.  The fertilized egg would then be returned to the mother's uterus for a normal gestation.

Atala presented the findings at the recent 2012 meeting of the American College of Surgeons' Clinical Congress.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hilyah from: QEkPgaFJqDg
October 24, 2012 2:09 PM
Thanks for sharnig. Your post is a useful contribution.

by: Asley from: usa
October 11, 2012 12:10 PM
My sister had a problem with infertility too.She wanted to have a child with her husband she just couldn't do it.
I felt so bad for her. I mean, I love her and I read online that there are natural solutions to it. So I took it upon myself and started digging.
I FINALLY found something that looked interesting. It's a product called "Pregnancy Miracle". Long story short....my girlfriend actually ended up purchasing this product and lets just say this...
She has been successful with it and has a new born healthy baby! Amazing right? She loved the product. Anyway you can find it and the reviews at www.reviewsphere.com

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs