Age-related ovary scarring 'could be responsible for declining fertility'

8 August 2016

A new study has offered evidence that changes in the ovarian environment associated with age may explain why women struggle with fertility issues as they get older.

The Northwestern University research examined mice and found that the decreased ability of females to produce healthy eggs as they become older may be due to excessive scarring and inflammation in the ovaries.

It marks the first study to show ageing in the ovarian environment and linking this change to the quality of eggs produced, as most prior research has focused instead on the eggs themselves by trying to understand why their number and quality deteriorate over time.

These findings could result in new treatments that preserve fertility by delaying ovarian ageing.

Lead study author Francesca Duncan, executive director of the Center for Reproductive Science at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: "People tend to overlook that the egg is growing in a complex environment, and no one has taken a deep look at what is happening to that environment with age."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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