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Researchers may have found a solution to improving fertility in women with obesity, following a successful trial by an Australian university.
The University of Queensland study found a common type 2 diabetes medication altered reproductive hormones in obese mice, and could improving fertility in humans.

School of Biomedical Sciences Professor Chen Chen said the results were a promising sign, as human and mouse reproductive cycles were similar.

Researchers may have found a solution to improving fertility in women with obesity. (AP)

“After eight weeks of treatment, blood glucose levels in the mice normalised, body weight reduced, reproductive cycles recovered, and reproductive hormones and ovulation were largely restored, compared with mice that were not treated,” he said.

The drug used, Dapagliflozin, is known for reducing blood glucose levels and improving other biomarkers of metabolic health.

However its effects on reproductive health and fertility have yet to be fully investigated.

“Our findings suggest that normalising blood glucose metabolism with Dapagliflozin in obesity may be a promising route for restoring reproductive function, at the very least,” Chen said.

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Many women with obesity can experience fertility issues and altered levels of reproductive hormones.

Chen said this might be linked to changes in energy metabolism, which altered reproductive hormone levels and disrupted the menstrual cycle and ovulation.

“People with obesity also have a greater risk of developing type two diabetes and often have high blood glucose levels, as well as other metabolic changes, which further complicates matters,” he said.

“Findings from this study in mice shows that Dapagliflozin has the potential to improve fertility in women when no other successful therapy is currently available.

“Such treatment could then go onto improving quality of life for many women.”

Chen said the findings were “encouraging”, but more work needed to be done to confirm that the findings could be replicated in women.

Researchers will now investigate the therapeutic benefits of using Dapagliflozin to improve reproductive function by examining molecular pathways in the reproductive system.

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