OvaScience, a fertility treatment company, claims that it can rejuvenate women’s aging egg cells.
OvaScience claims it can improve the health of an egg’s mitochondria – the part of the cell that gives it energy to divide and grow – through a treatment they coined as AUGMENT.
When a woman is born, she already has all the eggs she will ever have in her lifetime. As she ages, the eggs deteriorate as well and lose their vitality. Thus, older women are less likely to ovulate and the eggs they do release are less likely to develop into healthy babies, explained Kateryna Makova, a genomicist not associated with OvaScience.
Dr. Kutluk Oktay, one of the initial IVF specialists to administer the AUGMENT treatment shared her success in a clinical experience that involved eight women between 27 and 41 who previously had three or more in vitro fertilization failures. Two out of the eight women had successful clinical pregnancies.
“These initial AUGMENT pregnancy rates are quite encouraging, especially given that these were women who had failed multiple IVF cycles and were running out of options to use their own eggs,” said Dr. Oktay.
“Based on our experiences to date, the AUGMENT treatment appears to benefit women with poor egg quality and we look forward to continuing to share our clinical experiences,” added Dr. Oktay.
However, experts caution women of this new treatment, saying there are no studies to back up OvaScience’s method of revitalizing cells. In addition, little is known about the whole process.
“They're quite private and secretive about what they're doing," said Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh, an American OB-gyn and fertility specialist who has no affiliation with OvaScience. “If you were to call as a consumer, they wouldn't tell you anything.”
Sources: March 28, 2015. " Additional Clinical Reports of OvaScience AUGMENT Fertility Treatment Show Improved Pregnancy Rates in Women with Multiple Prior Failed IVF Cycles". businesswire.com March 24, 2015. "Can Women's 'Aging' Eggs Be Rejuvenated?". huffingtonpost.com