Credits: prcsj. ca

New Study Explains What Causes Infertility in Women

Infertility in women affects a large number of relationships around the world and one of the primary factors that influence the ability of a person to procreate is age. Infertility is the inability to get pregnant and instead of a deficiency, it is considered as a disease all over the world. Approximately, one of every eight U.S couples is attempting to get pregnant or keep up a pregnancy.

In the course of the most recent six years, a group of Estonian geneticists drove by Associate Professor Agne Velthut-Meikas and Ph.D. student Ilmatar Rooda from the TalTech Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology have analyzed genes previously related basically with female hormone synthesis and ovarian follicle improvement. The findings propose that these genes may play a more complex role in oocyte development than previously accepted

Bidirectional communication i.e. signaling must happen between the cells in the ovary for the generation of a new life and oocyte maturation. A small filled sac called follicle where an oocyte resides ruptures at ovulation and release the oocyte into the oviduct.

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For oocyte maturation and its release from the follicle, the follicle, and the oocyte cells i.e. granulosa cells encompassing it must exchange signals with one another over a specific timeframe. Some hormones are also produced by these granulosa cells that are important for effective adherence of the embryo to the uterus wall and the survival of early pregnancy. 

Some common causes of infertility in women are endometriosis, implantation failure, problems with the menstrual cycle, structural problems of the reproductive system, failure of an egg to mature properly, infections, and failure to ovulate.

Study in detail here.

Velthut-Meikas, an associate Professor says that in addition to other things, the production and working of two proteins in ovarian granulosa cells are required. These significant proteins are aromatase and the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR). FSHR gets the signal of a follicle-stimulation hormone from the pituitary organ, prompting the growth of ovarian follicle and proliferation of granulosa cells.

The present study demonstrates that these genes are produced besides the small RNA molecules (microRNAs) and the hitherto known proteins which after binding to their target genes, determine if these genes assume their expected role in a cell. The microRNA targets are responsible for crucial infertility in women.

In this way, the previously mentioned proteins, already undescribed short microRNA atoms are from aromatase and FSHR genes. The microRNA targets got from the FSHR gene assume basic roles in activating the oocyte maturation and ovarian follicle development. The microRNA targets derived from the aromatase gene are associated with initiating changes in the ovarian tissue required for the process of ovulation.

Both microRNAs probably regulate the functioning of different tissues including mammary glands, the endometrium, adipose tissue, etc and the synthesis of steroid hormones in the ovary.

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Agne Velthut-Meikas says that these study findings are helpful because they provide completely new information on how ovaries function. This information is extremely valuable for diagnosing the reasons for infertility in women and finding new treatment options for them. 

Another highly topical issue is the fertility of cancer patients and everyone around the globe is trying to preserve its ripeness. This includes a process where some portion of the patient’s gonad tissue is frozen before chemotherapy that demolishes the follicles. So, women can conceive their biological children after treatment. The way toward continuing oocyte development from frozen tissue should be studied more.


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