A woman's bone marrow could determine her chances of conceiving and carrying on a gestation. This was stated by a study by Yale University. When the oocyte is fertilized, some marrow stem cells move into the uterus. Here they help to create the environment suitable for implantation and embryo development. As a result, a bone marrow analysis could reveal any obstacles to the process.
Previous studies have already shown the involvement of bone marrow in the uterus. The stem cells from here in fact influence the uterus in the different phases of the cycle. However, it was unclear whether and how these cells influence the organ even during gestation.
The study in question aimed precisely at answering this question. The researchers analyzed two animal models with a Hoxa11 gene defect, which causes problems in the endometrium. After bone marrow transplantation of healthy guinea pigs, endometrial conditions have improved. This has increased the chances of conceiving and completing a pregnancy.
The approach proved effective even on a guinea pig with two defective copies of the gene, completely infertile. To make the transplant possible, the researchers used a particular chemotherapy drug that does not affect the ovaries. Now all that remains is to expand the study and, later, to understand how to translate what was discovered in human beings.