“I’ve no special talent. I’m only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein.
Out of close association, I’m fascinated by the advances in reproductive medicine especially when it comes to newer treatment options for beating women’s biological clock. I’m the fertility survivor who was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserves at young age so naturally when it comes to remedy to jump start ovaries, I get curious.
Diminishing Ovarian Reserves makes it much harder to conceive due to poor egg supply and at times quality, the condition that eventually progresses into Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) leading to early menopause and loss of ability to menstruate, ovulate and have children using their own eggs. POI is a complex disorder with several possible causes ranging from Genetics (X and autosomal chromosome abnormalities), Enzymatic (protein and enzyme defects involved in the steroidogenic pathway), Autoimmunity (Addison’s disease, Vitiligo, etc.) and Environmental (viral infections as varicella zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, and mumps virus). The diversity in causative mechanisms makes it more challenging to develop an approved therapy.
Basically, if you run out of your eggs, can there be any cure by engineering biology to regenerate eggs? Would it not be phenomenal to have a miracle therapy like Ovarian Botox that offer a chance to have biological child to POI subjects? Or possibly delay menopause in women? I know both are a far stretch for now!
Well, here’s what you need to know about couple of exciting options brewing in early phases of clinical trials.
Injecting Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (BMDSC) into ovaries may help in follicular development or make newer eggs in young POI women as designed by this ROSE study. The preliminary results released at ENDO 2018 meeting suggested two participants were injected with BMDSC in the study so far and completed the treatment showed improved serum estrogen levels in 3 months that lasted for at least one year. Their menopausal symptoms were alleviated, both the subjects resumed menses in six months of stem cell injection. Although the exact mechanism is a matter of debate, the plausibility that stem cells can restore ovarian function and fertility potential is without question.
Read more here.
Many fertility clinics across the world are experimenting a fairly non-invasive treatment option via injecting Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in ovaries of menopausal and peri menopausal women with low egg reserves by relying on PRP’s healing properties thereby improving ovarian health and facilitating follicular recruitment process. The first clinical study was conducted at Greek fertility clinic Genesis Athens in which 2 women showed successful pregnancy out of 180 women treated in the trial. The excitement trickled into United States to initiate Inovium Ovarian Rejuvenation clinical trial at Carlsbad, CA, followed by New Hope Fertility Clinic located in New York City. New Hope clinic reported two out of six patients treated have had successful pregnancies through IVF.
Although several clinical trials are ongoing for PRP treatment, early statistics indicate less than promising response for this therapy.
I’ll be closely following the progress on both of the above options and keep you appraised.
Stay tuned for more research and next phase of therapeutic development for premature ovarian aging.