Stem Cell and Fertility Research

According to a British newspaper researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA and Saitama Medical University, Japan have carried out research looking for the existence of ‘oogenial stem cells’ (OSCs) with exciting results. These are specialised cells that scientists thought might develop into ‘oocytes’, which can, in turn, develop into mature eggs or ‘ova’. This discovery of stem cells in human ovaries means that it may be possible to produce an unlimited supply of eggs.

The discovery of human OSCs raises questions about whether new fertility treatments could be developed using their unique properties. However  the research is at such an early stage that we are currently unable to understand if it can be safely used to help patients. It should also be noted that there are many reasons why both men and women may experience fertility problems and even if the findings from this study could one day be put into clinical use, it is unclear how many infertile couples would benefit.