Researchers Dr. Michael Soules, Dr. Nancy Klein, Dr. Angela Thyer are leading a project at the University Of Washington Fertility and Endocrine Center to develop a technique that within 3 years may allow prediction of how many years of fertility a woman has left:
After puberty, some of these eggs begin to grow and move toward the center of the ovary. The layers of cells that surround these eggs also grow, secreting a liquid as they do. And in that liquid lie the hopes of the project.
The growing egg and surrounding cells are known as antral follicles, and the UW researchers believe there is a correlation between the number of them at any given time and the total number of eggs in the ovary. The more antral follicles, the more eggs remaining. What makes this so important is that the liquid in antral follicles shows up on sonograms.
Soon, doctors may be able to tell a woman how many eggs she has with a simple ultrasound.
The team wants to count another 100 or so ovaries before it draws any conclusions, but the researchers believe that a normal, fertile woman has between 20 and 25 antral follicles at any time. Women with 10 or fewer will have a hard time conceiving.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2002 November 03 01:42 PM Biotech Reproduction|