Related Topics: Features, Infertility

Infertility Linked to Cholesterol Gene in Women

This gene also affects progesterone production and may be the cause of infertility in a substantial number of cases.

AnnA Rushton

This breakthrough comes from a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US and is published online in the journal Human Reproduction.

The gene responsible is the scavenger receptor class B type 1 gene (SCARB1) and this new research follows up studies in female mice that first linked a deficiency in these receptors for HDL – the so-called “good” or “healthy” cholesterol – and infertility. Now researchers report finding the same link in studies of women with a history of infertility when they analyzed ovarian cells and fluid collected from 274 women unable to become pregnant for various reasons and undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Endocrinologist Annabelle Rodriguez, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins said “Right now, the benefit of this research is in knowing that there might be a genetic reason for why some women have difficulty getting pregnant. In the future, we hope this knowledge can be translated into a cure for this type of infertility.”  She believes the genetic variation could be present in 8 to 13 percent of the population and that means potentially being able to help a substantial number of women.

The researchers have also developed a simple blood test for this variation of the gene, but this knowledge has not so far led to any approved therapy. It would seem logical though to ensure that a woman’s progesterone levels are healthy and balanced before looking to start a family.

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Please feel free to discuss this article in the comments section below, but note that the author cannot respond to queries made there.
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Paul | 7:43 pm, July 12th, 2011

I’m glad you brought up these points. It’s so true! My heart goes out to all of you that are in this situation. For all of you who are TTC, here’s a story for you. My husband and I tried to have children for over 3 years. We were contemplating IVF and adoption, but just trying to save up the money for either was an obstacle. Finally, a family member told us about a product called BeeFertile. It’s a natural fertility product – no prescription required. It’s a 2 part kit and has Royal Jelly in it, which is supposed to be really good for increasing fertility. We were skeptical, but decided to try it. It was so much cheaper than having to take fertility testing, etc. So they tell you that it takes 3-6 months for it to work. I’m happy to report that only after 3 months of taking the kit, I was PPT!!! Check it out: http://www.beefertile.com

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