A common cause of female infertility - polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - may be due to a hormonal imbalance before birth, researchers have found. Researchers have been able to cure it in mice, and a clinical trial in human women is due to begin later this year, the New Scientist reports [newscientist.com]. PCOS affects up to one in five women worldwide, it says.
It affects how a woman's ovaries work - symptoms include irregular periods and difficulty getting pregnant. "It's by far the most common hormonal condition affecting women of reproductive age, but it hasn't received a lot of attention," Robert Norman at the University of Adelaide in Australia told the New Scientist. More than half of the women affected don't have any symptoms.
Researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) have found that the syndrome may be triggered before birth by excess exposure in the womb to a hormone called anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) [nature.com] [DOI: 10.1038/s41591-018-0035-5] [DX [doi.org]]. They found pregnant women with PCOS have 30% higher levels of the hormone than normal.
Polycystic ovary syndrome [wikipedia.org].
Also at Newsweek [newsweek.com].