Scientific research reveals that polycystic ovary syndrome is by far the most widely prevalent cause of infertility amongst women, and it is usually triggered due to a hormonal imbalance that may have occurred even before birth. A recent research has revealed a ground-breaking cure that has been tested on mice so far, and later this year, a drug trial is being arranged to test this cure amongst women.
Statistics reveal that polycystic ovary syndrome occurs in nearly one of five women all over the globe, and around one-third of these women experience complications while getting pregnant. The polycystic ovary syndrome commonly entails significantly high levels of testosterone, irregularities in the menstrual cycles, blood sugar regulating complications, and the emergence of ovarian cysts. However, researchers still know very little about the causes that trigger this condition.
Experts believe that despite being one of the most commonly occurring hormonal syndromes that tend of affect women during their reproductive age, the polycystic ovary syndrome still hasn’t garnered sufficient scientific attention.
There are various treatments that aid women suffering from the polycystic ovary syndrome in getting pregnant, however, the success rates of these treatments tend to be less than 30% over five menstrual cycles.
Alterations within the Womb
Paolo Giacobini and his colleagues, from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research have discovered that the polycystic ovarian syndrome is caused before birth when the baby experiences significant exposure to the anti-Müllerian hormone, a hormone present within the womb. They further highlighted that pregnant women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome tend to have a 30% greater density of the anti-Müllerian as compared to normal women.
The research reveals that this condition is genetic and runs from parent to offspring within the same family, which led the researchers to speculate whether the presence of this hormonal imbalance during pregnancy trigger the same syndrome amongst their daughters.
In order to establish the validity of this speculation, the researchers attempted to run an experiment. They injected an excessively high dose of the anti-Müllerian hormone in pregnant mice. When the female mice grew up, they exhibited various symptoms and signs of harboring the polycystic ovary syndrome. These symptoms include delays and pregnancy complications, lesser children, lesser ovulation cycles, and late induced puberty.
The researchers highlighted that this effect was triggered due to an excessive exposure to the anti-Müllerian hormone, which caused a set of brain cells to overstimulate, leading to an alarming increase in their testosterone levels.
Healing the Mice
With the help of an IVF drug, cetrorelix, which is commonly administered to curb hormonal imbalances amongst women, the researchers succeeded in reversing the hormonal effects amongst the mice. Once they were treated with cetrorelix, the mice did not exhibit anymore symptoms of the polycystic ovary syndrome.
The researchers are now planning to arrange a clinical trial for women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome and treat their symptoms with cetrorelix. The trials are all set to begin before this year comes to an end, and it has emerged as a very appealing technique to increase the chances of pregnancy and restore ovulation amongst women suffering from this condition.
This ground-breaking research has provided valuable insight that has opened up a productive discourse on the previously neglected topic of polycystic ovary syndrome, along with opening up various opportunities and innovations for a deeper investigation into its causes and treatments.
As predicted by the researchers, if this condition is indeed genetically transmitted from the mother to the daughter through hormonal exposure within the womb, it offers a valid explanation as to why identifying the genetic causes that trigger this syndrome has been such as difficult challenge.
These results also provide a plausible explanation to understand why certain women who suffer from the polycystic ovary syndrome tend to face less difficulties getting pregnant during their late 30s and early 40s. Research reveals that as women age, the levels of the Anti-Müllerian hormone levels tend to reduce, and this can also reduce their fertility rates.
However, amongst women who begin their reproductive lives with high levels of the Anti-Müllerian hormone, an age-induced decline in the hormone can even restore their normal fertility levels. But this theory still needs to be empirically tested in order to establish its validity.