Simple fix to increase late life fertility


As women get older, they experience more fertility problems. A scientist in Ottawa, Dr. John Liu, has had a breakthrough discovery which may help. He has found a simple solution that could increase the viability of egg cells for women in their late 30s and older: putrescine water. Dr. Liu has shown that drinking water or taking a pill that contains putrescine could reduce the rate at which middle-aged women produce eggs with the incorrect number of chromosomes, believed to be the leading cause for reduction in fertility and increase in miscarriage and congenital birth defects for older moms.

Increasing ODC levels decreases defective eggs

Putrescine is naturally produced by mammals by the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, ODC, and is easily absorbed by the body. ODC levels rise during ovulation. Dr. Liu found that for older women, ODC levels do not rise as much. By suppressing ODC in lab mice, he was able to increase the number of egg cells with chromosomal defects. He also gave mice putrescine water before and during ovulation and found that it reduced the incidence of defective eggs by more than 50%.

Simple approach with remarkable results

“This is a remarkable outcome for such a simple approach,” Dr. Liu explained. “However, we could not have imagined this without first understanding the role that ODC and putrescine play in maintaining the chromosomal integrity of egg cells. While there is work to be done before it can be approved for clinical use, we feel this approach could be used for natural conception as well as in vitro fertilization.”

More testing needed before it’s widely available

Putrescine is not available on the market, yet. More tests will be needed to determine its clinical safety and effectiveness in humans.

Source: Aging, MedicalNewsToday


The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. See our Legal Statement for more details.

Fertility Clinics Directory

Find a Fertility Clinic

If you or a loved one is suffering from infertility and needs help conceiving then we are here to offer help in any way we can. We have over 450 Fertility Clinics listed on our Directory. Click here to search for a Fertility Clinic that is right for you.