Could Stem Cells Eliminate the Maternal Clock in La Quinta?
If you are a woman of a certain age who has never had children you are probably beginning to hear the subtle tick tocks of your maternal clock in La Quinta. And anxiety steadily increases as your window of fertility begins to close. When we refer to women as having a maternal clock this is in reference to the fact that as women get older their internal store of ova and associated hormones becomes increasingly depleted until they reach a point that they are no longer capable of having children.
Most women of course, take this change of trajectory in stride and besides having to deal with the effects of menopause, are accepting of their new phase of life. But for those that have yet to have experienced the wonder of becoming a parent, this change can be perceived as a door slamming in their face, shutting them out of one of the most important milestones in life. The devastation is even worse for women who undergo these changes prematurely, and have their maternal clock stop at as young as 30.
Stem Cell Therapy in La Quinta
These women feel cheated of the opportunity of having their own children—and as good as adoption may be—they still long for the privilege of passing on their own genes. Is there any solution to this dilemma? The short answer to that question is— “maybe”—and it leads us to a longer more complex discussion on stem cells and its potential for treating infertility in women, slowing down the ticking of the clock, and the possibility of allowing us to completely bypass that maternal clock altogether.
The first major form of treatment for women whose window of fertility closes too soon utilizes one of the first forms of stem cell therapy—a bone marrow transplant. You may be familiar with bone marrow transplants being used to strengthen the immune system of cancer patients, but as it turns out, bone marrow also works remarkably well to strengthen female ovaries. In recent clinical trials several female patients have reported a full cessation of premenopausal symptoms and have shown markedly increased estrogen levels with a return to healthy and timely menstrual cycles.
They can apparently thank this influx of bone marrow stem cells for the reboot of their maternal clock. There have also been additional studies with stem cells that seem to indicate that they play a much larger role in the release of eggs than previously thought. And in addition to rejuvenating ovaries through bone marrow transplants, mechanisms for turning latent ovarian stem cells on and off have also been discovered. Leading the charge in this research is a certain Northeastern University professor by the name of Jonathan Tilly.
The Link Between Fertility and Stem Cell Therapy
It was Mr. Tilly who several years before had found evidence that seemed to be contrary to the long-established notion that all women are born with a finite amount of eggs that cannot be replenished. In particular he discovered that ovarian stem cells in the ovaries can be activated to produce brand new egg cells at any time. He first made this discovery in a group of lab mice in 2004, this was then followed up by the identification of ovarian stem cells in human women in 2012.
Then to prove that this type of cells can be indeed be utilized to create eggs and offspring, Jonathan Tilly did just that with a group of his lab mice. Only he upped the ante a little bit, because to prove to his skeptics it was the real deal, he activated a gene in the stem cells of the mice that would turn any resulting offspring a shade of green. What was the result? A rambunctious rodent litter of jolly green mice! This proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the green gene altered stem cells that were the source of the eggs that produced Jonathan Tilly’s green mice.
While no one as of late plans on making any green human children anytime soon—this experiment opens the door to the possibility of utilizing ovarian stem cells to advance the fertility of women. With results such as this, women struggling with a low egg count have a clear alternative. But as good as all that is, stem cells have the potential to do even more. And even women whose maternal clocks have come to a complete halt, may yet utilize stem cells to have children.
Because incredibly enough, even if a woman has no eggs left in her ovaries—as long as she has DNA in her body, that DNA can be reprogrammed to become eggs! Yes, that’s right, simple skin cells, muscle cells, or what have you, can all be placed into a petri dish and converted into eggs! Our DNA has the blueprints for all of our cells we just have to utilize it and use it to map out the exact kind of cells we would like to produce.
First, a cell the body has in abundance such as a common skin cell is taken and induced to become a stem cell. Called an iPS (induced pluripotent stem cell) this readily made stem cell contains the above- mentioned DNA blueprint of the patient, and drawing from that data can be directed to become any kind of cell from the original makeup of the patient. Just as it was when this person was first formed in the womb, their iPS stem cell can be directed to become skin, muscle, nerve, blood, bone—or eggs.
Rewinding the Maternal Clock
If all the current findings pan out, it could lead to some rather stunning results. No longer would women be beholden to a finite window of time to have children. With the ability to recreate her own personal eggs at will, a woman could have a child at 80 years old if she likes. Most probably would not opt for child rearing at that late of a stage in life—unless perhaps they want to take the youngster to bingo night—but I think you get the idea.
If you want to take advantage of Stem Cell Therapy in La Quinta, contact our office today!
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