Grafted ovaries lead to successful pregnancy

Karen Ravn in Nature:

BabyA previously infertile woman has given birth to a healthy baby after undergoing a procedure that involved removing her ovaries and stimulating them in the lab to produce eggs. The fertility treatment, dubbed in vitro activation, could offer hope to millions of women who have problems with ovulation. In vitro activation addresses a condition called primary ovarian insufficiency, or premature ovarian failure, whereby egg-containing ovarian follicles do not grow in the way that they are supposed to. Few, if any, eggs ever reach maturity. As many as 1% of women of reproductive age are infertile because of the condition, and egg donation is the currently the only option available to help these women to become pregnant. But in the new procedure, described in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1, physicians removed study participants' ovaries, cut them into small pieces and treated them with growth-stimulating drugs. After two days, some pieces were then 'grafted' back into the women's Fallopian tubes, and monitored for follicle growth. In some participants, mature eggs were retrieved, and these underwent the standard process of in vitro fertilization.

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