Women who can’t get pregnant because of low hormone levels will be happy to hear about this new fertility treatment! Research shows that kisspeptin increases reproductive hormones in healthy women, and can have the same effect on infertile women or women with low fertility levels.
“Infertility is a devastating condition that affects millions of couples worldwide,” says researcher Dr Waljit Dhillo from the Department of Investigative Medicine at Imperial College London. “Our research shows that kisspeptin offers huge promise as a treatment for infertility.”
Here’s a brief description of the effects of kisspeptin on female hormone levels. For further information (not on kisspeptin as a fertility treatment, but for women’s hormones in general), read What You Must Know About Women’s Hormones: Your Guide to Natural Hormone Treatents for PMS, Menopause, Osteoporosis, PCOS, and More.
A New Fertility Treatment for Women With Low Hormone Levels
This research suggests the hormone kisspeptin shows promise as a potential new treatment for women who can’t get pregnant – depending on the Living With Infertility. Scientists led by Dr Waljit Dhillo have shown that giving kisspeptin to infertile women can activate the release of hormones that control the menstrual cycle.
This research could lead to a new fertility therapy for women with low hormone levels.
What is Kisspeptin?
Kisspeptin is a product of the KISS-1 gene and is a key regulator of reproductive function. Animals and humans lacking kisspeptin function do not go through puberty and remain sexually immature. In a previous study, Dr Waljit Dhillo and colleagues showed that kisspeptin treatment leads to the production of hormones in fertile women; they have now extended their research to look at the effects of kisspeptin in women whose periods have stopped due to a hormone imbalance.
Indeed, irregular menstrual cycles can make getting pregnant more difficult for women.
Researching Kisspeptin as a Possible Treatment for Infertile Women
“From our previous results, we know that kisspeptin can stimulate release of reproductive hormones in healthy women,” says Dr Dhillo. “We have now extended this research to show that kisspeptin treatment has the same effect in women with infertility. In fact, our current data show that kisspeptin causes a greater increase in luteinising hormone production in non-menstruating women, than that in fertile women in the previous study.
In this study, funded by the Medical Research Council, The Wellcome Trust and National Institute for Health Research, a group of ten women who were not menstruating and infertile, were injected with either kisspeptin (n=5) or saline (control, n=5). Blood samples were then taken to measure their levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), two sex hormones essential for ovulation and fertility.
Kisspeptin led to a 48-fold increase in LH and 16-fold increase in FSH, when compared to the control treatment. This is the first study to show that kisspeptin can stimulate hormones in women with infertility and presents kisspeptin as a potential new therapy for women who can’t get pregnant.
The Next Step for Women Who Can’t Get Pregnant
“This is a very exciting result and suggests that kisspeptin treatment could restore reproductive function in women with low hormone levels,” says Dr Dhillo. “Our future research will focus on determining the best protocol for repeated kisspeptin administration with the hope of developing a new therapy for infertility.”
At this point, kisspeptin doesn’t appear to be available to treat female infertility – it’s still being studied. But, if you’re a woman who can’t get pregnant because of low or nonexistent hormone levels, talk to your doctor about the possibilities of kisspeptin.
If you have any thoughts or questions about this new treatment for female infertility, please comment below…