As women age, their supply of eggs not only diminishes, but also collects DNA mutations, probably as a result of environmental stress. As a result, most women begin to lose the ability to conceive in their 30s, which culminates with menopause in their late 40s.
For women who wait until their 40s to have children, this issue of egg viability is a serious factor determining a woman’s fertility. One way to overcome infertility would be to generate viable eggs from the woman’s stem cells.
Previous research has indicated that female eggs can be generated from stem cells. Now, scientists out of Edinburgh University are proposing to fertilize these eggs in hopes of generating viable embryos.
The ability to generate healthy eggs in vitro could help women delay menopause and allow women to have children at an advanced age.