As a woman who loves being a woman ( Yes i’m a feminist, but not to the extent of some), being able to have a child of your own, with the same DNA as you is everything a woman could wish for.
If lucky we are all born with the right functions to make a baby, but some are unfortunate not to be or may develop problems over the course of their lives which may not allow them to birth.
With the ever moving times we live in and the amazing advancements in medicine and technology ( One of the key reasons why I want to be part of the evolutionary changes of healthcare by becoming a doctor) we have hopefully found a solution to one of many issues still trying to be tackled and that is artificial ovaries. Scientists have taken early steps towards developing an artificial ovary that could lead ti improved fertility preservation treatments.
The technique is aimed at helping women at risk of becoming fertile for example those who receive chemotherapy.
Danish scientists removed parts of the ovary and altered them so they could potentially be transplanted later when women want to conceive.
Treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can often damage the ovaries and leave a woman infertile. One way women can have a chance of conceiving is with an ovarian tissue transplant , where all or part of the ovary is removed and frozen before it is damages so that it can be used later.
However with these new developments there are risks. For example for women with cancer there is a risk that the ovarian tissue may contain cancerous cells, which may then lead to the illness returning when the transplant takes place.
Although the risk is seen as very low, it may mean that women with certain cancers such as: leukemia and cancers surrounding the womb area may not have the transplant offered to them. However to remove this risk, scientists from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, took ovarian follicles and ovarian tissue from patients due to have cancer treatment.
They then removed the cancerous cells from the ovarian tissue, leaving behind a “scaffold” made up of proteins and collagen.
They were then able to grow the ovarian follicles on this engineered scaffold made up of proteins and collagen. This artificial ovary was then transplanted into mice, where it was able to support the survival and growth of the ovarian cells.
Doctors have said this technique can have advantages over other fertility techniques. Stuart Lavery a consultant gynecologist at Hammersmith Hospital, said the ovarian tissue transplants potentially contained thousands of eggs that would enable women to get pregnant naturally as opposed to IVF where an egg is fertilised in a lab before being injected into the womb.
However, with all new findings it will still take at least 3 to 4 years, plus needing it to be tested on humans.
Another inspiration to me that I can be part of the developing world of medicine and able to be part of things that wont just benefit my generation, but the generation to come.