Stem cell treatment could help barren women conceive

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: Thousands of women experiencing early menopause may be able to conceive a child, thanks to pioneering stem cell treatment.

One out of a 100 women goes through the menopause before they are 40 years, preventing conception.

Scientists have come up with a way of restoring the ovaries` ability to produce eggs using cells specially developed in the lab.

There is no current treatment for the condition, known as Premature Ovarian Failure, which affects one percent of all women, reports the Daily Mail.

It causes their ovaries to stop producing eggs 10 or even 30 years earlier than normal leaving them infertile, when many were hoping to have babies.

But scientists in Cairo, Egypt, have come up with a method which they say could be developed to help restore the ovaries to their normal working order.

In a study involving rats, the researchers created a special type of stem cell known as a mesenchymal stem cell from rat embryos.

They then implanted these cells into female rats who had been a chemical to induce ovarian failure.

They found that within two weeks the female rates ovaries were working normally, and within two months their hormone levels were the same as animals who did have the illness.

The researchers, who presented their findings to the World Congress on Fertility and Sterility in Munich, say the concept could be developed to treat women with the condition.

Prof Osama Azmy who led the study, said: "This work holds out the possibility that women with premature ovarian failure might be able to bear a baby of their own."

IANS