Male sex hormones, such as testosterone, present and active in the ovaries, helps regulate female fertility, probably by controlling follicle growth and development and preventing deterioration of follicles that contain growing eggs, a new study suggests.
The study highlights the fact that women need certain levels of male hormones, or androgens, in their bodies to function normally. The current study, published today in the journal Molecular Endocrinology, points to irregular androgen levels in the ovaries of female mice as a major cause of infertility. Understanding how male hormones influence ovulation in mice may provide clues as to how to better regulate androgens and combat infertility in humans.
"The need for certain levels of male hormones in the female body and the strong influence these hormones have is often underappreciated," said Stephen Hammes, M.D., Ph.D., Louis S. Wolk Distinguished Professorship in Medicine (Endocrinology and Metabolism) at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a lead author of the study."Our findings open up a new line of research into how we can regulate male sex hormones, specifically in the ovaries, to improve fertility," said Aritro Sen, Ph.D.