The Kiss Of Hope
The Heartbreak of PCOS and Endometriosis
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis often find themselves in great difficulty when it comes to conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term. These two conditions are the most common causes of infertility in women worldwide. Great strides have been made to address the problems caused by PCOS and endometriosis, and with the use of fertility drugs, many women are able to conceive and give birth. However, many other women with these conditions are often left with a broken heart as they miscarry or simply fail to conceive.
PCOS is a condition that affects the ovaries causing cysts that prohibit the production of eggs. In the case of endometriosis, cells that normally grow inside the uterus are found outside its walls, in other places in the abdominal cavity. The result is internal bleeding during the time of menstruation. Both conditions are caused by abnormalities in the production of reproductive hormones in women. Kisspeptin, a naturally occurring protein, is responsible for regulating the reproductive hormones, switching them off and on. When the regulatory system malfunctions, the result can be PCOS or endometriosis.
New Research Produces A Revolutionary New Drug
Now there is new hope as researchers in Scotland have developed a revolutionary drug that could help women to produce the proper balance of hormones for normal fertility. This treatment, which is currently in the testing stages, is designed to eliminate the current need for surgery or drugs that have potentially serious side effects. The Scottish team of researchers created an artificial version of kisspeptin, called kisspeptin antagonist, which has been proven to cause the natural protein to work properly and to normalize the release of hormones. An added bonus is that there are no side effects because kisspeptin antagonist is simply a natural hormone that has been tweaked to become more effective.
Women's Support Groups Are Encouraged
Rachel Hawkes, chair of Verity, a self-help group for women with PCOS, said, "The new research is an incredibly interesting development for women with polycystic ovary syndrome, and one which we welcome. It's incredibly useful for women living with the condition to have another tool in the box." She went on to describe PCOS as the "thief of womanhood" and a very distressing condition for any woman to experience.
A spokesperson for The Infertility Network Scotland commented that: "Although this is at an early stage, any new research which could help patients with painful conditions such as endometriosis is welcome. If this also helps couples overcome infertility then that is also excellent news. We look forward to seeing the results of this research and hope that it helps couples in the future."
Ironically, this very drug can also be used as a contraceptive. When used in the right quantity, kisspeptin antagonist could halt the release of the hormone that triggers ovulation.