The widespread misconception that women in their forties can no longer conceive due to the onset of menopause, may be losing its ground, as seasoned scientists have identified one of the leading causes of serial miscarriages and disabilities in the eggs of older women.
Although, it is medically believed that female fertility declines rapidly after the age of 37 – with women over 42 having only a five percent chance of having a baby without fertility treatment, but the new study has provided further insight into the matter.
The researchers from Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) and University College London have found that insufficient levels of the protein securin may give answers as to why older women have higher incidences of miscarriage and other complications.
According to the findings, reported on DailyMailonline, Securin is important for cell division, which influences the number of chromosomes present in an egg. In older women, insufficient protein levels appear to particularly influence the later stages of cell division, known as meiosis II.
The experts also opined that the lower level of securin may also play a role in fertilized eggs that fail to properly implant in the womb, thus bringing about deformity in the foetus.
The research, published in the journal of Nature Communications, explains why things go wrong in the second stage of cell division.
Key scientists in the team- Dr Ibtissem Nabti and Professor John Carroll from the Monash BDI said “new approaches to improving egg quality in older women are important as women are waiting increasingly longer to start their families. Professor Carroll said: ‘It is immensely challenging because any treatments need to be safe for the egg and subsequent embryo, and would usually need to be applied while the egg is in the ovary.
‘It may one day be possible to perform treatments in-vitro (in the laboratory) but human in-vitro egg maturation is not yet very successful.
‘Now that we have an idea of at least one of the causes of the increased incidence of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriages in older women, we can attempt to find ways to prevent this happening.’
Although reasons for the reduction of securin levels in older women are not yet known, but there is hope for awaiting mothers of the age group, as the next study will be to tackle causes of the depletion in securin. So, keep up alive, your bundles of joy are on the way!!!