Researchers have identified a gene mutation that might be the reason why some women are less fertile or infertile.
The findings have concluded that women who lacked the gene called ‘Nlrp2’ showed lesser reproductivity which results into termination of pregnancies or having a baby with developmental disabilities.
Conversely, when males lack the genes, there was no impact on their fertility, the researchers said, in the paper appearing in the journal Scientific Reports.
"Women carrying these mutations are healthy in all other physical aspects, so they are unaware that they have these mutations that do not allow them to carry a pregnancy," said lead author Sangeetha Mahadevan, a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, US.
When these women lacking the Nlrp2 mated, three different results were observed: Some did not get pregnant, some had stillborn babies and the rest of them normal babies but lesser in numbers. Some even had babies smaller or larger than the normal size.
In addition, when the researchers attempted to grow the eggs of a female mouse carrying the mutation in the Nlrp2 gene in an artificial environment in the lab, they did not develop.
"This finding has implications for in vitro fertilisation. It is important to recognise that there will be women who may not be candidates for this procedure because their embryos would likely be unable to grow in culture as a result of the females carrying these mutations in NLRP genes," Mahadevan noted.
(With IANS Inputs)