In a study published in the Journal Nature, an international weekly journal of science, scientists have discovered a type of stem cell that seems to be able to produce normal egg cells (oocytes) in women’s ovaries.
So what does this mean?
The discovery potentially could revolutionize how medical practitioners treat women suffering from infertility.
The researchers injected the oocyte-producing stem cells (OSCs) into human ovarian tissue that had been grafted into mice. After seven to 14 days, the OSCs had matured and generated new human oocytes – showing that stem cells in a women’s ovaries can divide and make eggs.
The findings challenge the theory that women are born with a finite number of eggs, which ultimately decline in number as one ages until menopause.
Furthermore, it may not be so far in the future that scientists may be able to create a bank of frozen egg-producing stem cells to treat infertile women, or even take fate into one’s hands, and delay having a baby with the option of having eggs produced in the future.