Stem cell treatment shown to reverse symptoms of early menopause

Researchers in the US have announced the findings of a study involving stem cell treatment that could offer new hope for women who want to have children naturally.

It was found that injecting stem cells from bone marrow into the ovaries could help to reverse the symptoms of early menopause, specifically premature ovarian failure (POF).

This treatment was tested with 33 women experiencing POF. Participants' oestrogen levels increased and, after six months, they began to have periods again.

All of the women taking part in the study are now trying to get pregnant, the Daily Mail reported.

As well as treating early menopause, which can result in women becoming infertile in their 40s or earlier, this approach could provide an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. The researchers stressed that a longer follow-up with a larger group of women will be needed to fully validate the treatment.

Professor Prosper Igboeli, of the University of Augusta in Georgia, US, where the research was conducted, said the risk of lost or diminished ovarian function in women under the age of 40 makes POF a "challenging condition".

"It is particularly traumatic when the diagnosis is made in early reproductive life, leaving them with post-menopausal symptoms and infertility," he added.

"When POF patients desire pregnancy, the only current option is to receive donor eggs. Many women, due to various religious, cultural or ethical considerations, would like to use their own eggs."

Dr Adam Balen, of the British Fertility Society, said this study highlights the possibility of resurrecting ovulation activity in a dormant ovary.

A paper outlining the findings will be presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Reproductive Investigation in San Diego, California, US, which will run from March 6th to 10th.

POF, also known as premature ovarian insufficiency, is thought to affect approximately one in 100 women.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801845255-ADNFCR