Berkeley Scientists May Have Solved Women’s Stress-Related Infertility

Previously studies have shown that high levels of stress can lead to infertility in women. Stress produces the gonadotropin inhibitory hormone and the effects of this hormone can reduce fertility long after the stress has been eliminated.

A new study by scientists at the University of California Berkeley has discovered that blocking the gene for this hormone can return women to normal fertility levels. The research was conducted on rats but the authors hope that the results can be duplicated on other mammals, including humans.

danielaDaniela Kaufer, an associate professor of integrative biology at Berkeley, says that “what’s absolutely amazing is that one single gene controls this complex reproductive system, and that you can elegantly knock this gene down and change the reproductive outcome completely.”

Dr. Kaufer is a native of Israel and come to the United States as a postdoctoral fellow. She joined the faculty at Berkeley in 2005.

In addition to human infertility, the authors of the study hope their discovery will aid reproduction of endangered species who often have low levels of fertility in captive environments, possibly due to the stress of confinement.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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