Corina Rosales, a scientist at Houston Methodist, says it's an issue that impacts one in four women.
“Of those one in four women, 15% is due to unknown causes," Rosales said. "You can imagine how frustrating that is for women."
Their research so far involves mice.
While it is well known that LDL cholesterol causes health problems, the team realized infertile female mice also had high levels of HDL, or good cholesterol. Scientists treated the mice with a protein to lower HDL. We’re told the treatment worked for the vast majority of mice in a matter of hours.
“Eighty percent of mice that proved absolutely infertile were fertile,” said Henry Pownall with Houston Methodist.
He says the mice were able to produce offspring permanently after one treatment.
Now, researchers are planning a clinical study to see if this could help women struggling with infertility for unknown reasons too.
“Even if it’s just 1% of women you help - perhaps it’s not a large population of women who struggle with high HDL and infertility - but can you imagine how important and profound it would be for them to be able to have children,” Rosales said.