The long-held belief that women are born with their lifetime supply of egg cells is now in doubt, and the change could revolutionize fertility treatments.
The findings of a new study raise the possibility that women, like men, replenish their reproductive cells throughout life. The research, published in the March 11 issue of Nature, was done in mice, a mammal often used as a model for human biology. If the results can be replicated in humans, the findings will upend a doctrine held by fertility researchers for half a century.
The knowledge could lead to a flood of new ways to approach infertility associated with cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, as well as diminishing fertility in older women.