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Hormone hope for infertility

New hormone injection could help thousands of infertile women, scientists believe

Posted: 16 March 2010
by Clio FitzHerbert

A hormone called kisspeptin, made by the ‘Kiss’ gene, could bring hope to thousands of women whose fertility is affected by low sex hormones, a new study has revealed.

Twice weekly injections of the kisspeptin hormone boosted levels of sex hormones, “reinvigorating the reproductive hormone system” and potentially restoring fertility, scientists found.

Researchers at Imperial College London studied a group of 10 women with hypothalamic amenorrhoea – a hormonal disorder that prevents menstruation and affects thousands of women in the UK. The group was given twice-weekly injections of either kisspeptin or a salt solution over eight weeks. By the last day of the trial, the hormonal responses of the women given kisspeptin were 16 times higher.

More work is needed before women can be offered the treatment but scientists are encouraged by the results, which have been backed by the British Fertility Society.

“The results of our study are exciting,” said Dr Waljit Dhillo, from Imperial College London, “they show that kisspeptin may be a novel method for restoring fertility to women with certain types of infertility.”

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