New Infertility Treatments

In the past two years, new breakthroughs in stem cell technology seem to offer promising new avenues to develop treatments for infertility in both men and women. The research being conducted uses adult stem cells – cells that have already differentiated to belong to a specific body system. The research papers, both published in the latter half of 2012, offered new hope for men rendered infertile after cancer treatments, and women who are having trouble conceiving because of problems with their egg cells.

How Stem Cells Can Help Infertility

Currently, men who are facing cancer treatments can bank their sperm for future in use in a fertility clinic if they should decide to have children. This option isn’t available to young boys who undergo cancer treatments before they start producing sperm. However, all boys have stem cells in their testes which can eventually develop into sperm-producing cells. Scientists have been working on ways to use these spermatogonial stem cells since the mid-1990s. Last year, a professor at the University of Texas San Antonio succeeded in removing testicular stem cells from a monkey before chemotherapy, then transplanting them back into the monkey after chemo was complete, where they can restart sperm production and restore fertility. Scientists caution that it could be years before the procedures are tested and available to humans, but the pace of stem cell research has been incredibly fast recently.

New Infertility Treatments Could Arise from Stem Cell Research

On the other side of the gender spectrum, scientists in Japan have succeeded in coaxing stem cells from mice into very immature egg cells, which were then grown in the laboratory with ovary cells and transplanted into the mouse’s ovaries to mature. The mouse went on to deliver eight pups using two different methods of fertilization. All of the pups were born healthy, and some have gone on to have natural litters of their own. This marks the first time that scientists have been able to make fully functional eggs from stem cells. As with the work on male infertility, it will be years before these treatments might be available to human women, but they envision future infertility treatments that could use stem cells taken from an infertile woman to grow her own eggs and allow her to have a child that is genetically her own. This could be of enormous benefit to women who are infertile because of cancer treatments or premature menopause.

These are just a few of the many avenues of fertility treatment being pursued by scientists using stem cells and other cutting edge technologies. There are also many other diseases, disorders and dysfunctions that could be cured or alleviated through the use of stem cells, according to researchers.

If you are a possible stem cell patient, learn more to get a stem cell cure. Many terrific options exist for better health.

If you're a medical doctor and would like to learn and incorporate various stem cell treatments into your medical practice, please continue to learn more to get the proper stem cell medical training as many advancements are now being made weekly.