New technique turns biological clock back.

A new fertility technique could herald the end of the ‘ biological clock — by allowing women to have babies well into their 50s and 60s.  The treatment, to be unveiled at the World Congress of Fertility and Sterility conference in Munich, Germany, uses injections of stem cells to restore egg production.

It “kickstarts” the ovaries, potentially allowing those struggling to conceive to have a child of their own without using IVF or adopting. The breakthrough technique, developed by Egyptian fertility pioneer Osama Azmy, could particularly benefit women under 40 who suffer Premature Ovarian Failure or “early menopause”.

It has proved safe in animal trials and on lab rats and is set to be tested on women for the first time.

Stem cells are the body’s building blocks and have a unique ability to cling on to and repair damaged tissue. They have already been used in small trials to treat heart and bone fracture patients.  

However, this is the first time they have been presented as a potential fertility treatment. Azmy used stem cells from rats, testing them on mature female rodents. “This work shows stem cells can restore ovarian function. The treated ovaries returned to producing eggs,” the Sun quoted him as saying. However, the treatment is controversial as it uses stem cells taken from embryos.

In humans, these would be taken from aborted foetuses, or potentially in the future, embryos cultivated in a lab for this sole purpose.

Via Times of India