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UCLA research may explain some causes of infertility and miscarriage

A new study in the journal Nature Cell Biology has uncovered information about a key stage that human embryonic cells must pass through just before an embryo implants. The research, led by UCLA biologist Amander Clark, could help explain certain causes of infertility and spontaneous miscarriage.Infertility affects around 10 percent of the U.S. population, and roughly 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. end in miscarriage. In many cases, the causes of infertility and miscarriage are unknown.A team led by Clark, a UCLA professor of molecular cell and developmental biology and member of the  Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, set out to find how epigenomic changes — non-genetic influences on gene expression — in human embryonic stem cells could explain why some embryos are not viable.They started by analyzing cells within the early embryo; these cells are pluripotent, meaning that they can turn into any cell within the human body.“For many years, researchers thought that human pluripotency was a single state,” Clark said. “However, over the past three years, the field has discovered that human pluripotency involves at least two major states, and as embryos grow the stem cells pass through these two different states of pluripotency on the way to the embryo establishing a pregnancy.”After a human embryo is fertilized and before it implants in the uterine lining, cells in the embr...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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By Katrina Mark, MD 1. Fertility naturally declines as we age That alone doesn’t mean you should start to worry. The general advice I give a woman is if she has been trying to become pregnant for a full year with no luck, she might consider a fertility evaluation. For a woman over age 35, she might consider it after six months. If a woman is younger and has irregular periods, it’s likely she isn’t regularly ovulating, so she might want to be evaluated sooner. 2. Sometimes there’s a reason for infertility – and sometimes, there’s not There are some things we know cause infertility. About...
Source: Life in a Medical Center - Category: Universities & Medical Training Authors: Tags: Health Tips Women's Health fertility Katrina Mark obgyn UMMC Source Type: blogs
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