Nanjing scientists say they have reason to celebrate for what they are calling a breakthrough in infertility treatment.
An injectable smart collagen scaffold with biomaterials, developed by the scientists, uses human umbilical cord mesenchyme stem cells to help heal ovaries. The therapy assisted a woman with a damaged ovary to give birth to a baby boy in January 2018.
In a culture that puts tremendous pressure on a young couple to conceive, to lose that ability can have disastrous social and mental effects.
Talking with Xinhua News, Professor Dai Jianwu notes that, “China has more than 50 million infertile women, and that 20 to 40 percent suffer from endometritis”, an inflammation of the lining of the uterus.
Dai is of the opinion that with further development of stem-cell technology, endometrial damage will fade with time as the technology advances.
Commenting on Dai’s previous 2014 success with repairing organs, Xinhua reported, “Gynecologists of Nanjing Gulou Hospital have successfully implanted bone marrow stem cells into a woman’s damaged endometrium. 4 months later, she was pregnant”.
Stem-cell therapy is said to be cheaper, less painful and faster than the traditional use of In-Vetro Fertilisation.
In September of 2017, scientists in the UK discovered a “master gene”, that is said to be crucial to pregnancy. The protein OCT4 helps researchers further understand the reproduction process, determine whether or not IVF is necessary, or indeed possible, and helps further understand miscarriage.
As reported by The Telegraph, one in four couples suffer from infertility difficulties in the UK. “They found OCT4 appeared to be necessary for an embryo to become a blastocyst, a tiny ball of 200 cells that arises a week after conception and marks a key point in embryonic development”, wrote Henry Bodkin.
Melanie Abrahams from Parents, sister magazine to American Baby, published a list of The Five Most Exciting Fertility Breakthroughs; ovarian tissue transplant, embryos up for adoption, phasing out egg donors, cheaper IVF with double success rate and the discovery that a woman’s fertility window is longer than we think.
It is far from the first time that the Nanjing medical profession has made such breakthroughs. The Nanjinger previously reported on a patient who was cured of Leukemia at the at the Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and the Jiangsu Provincial Hospital when it cured a foreigner of myeloma cancer.
With success pioneering success of scientists and doctors in China and around the world, the field of fertility research is soaring along full steam ahead. The modern working woman can breathe a little easier now as time is on her side.