Research at the Reproductive Medicine group

The main interest of the Reproductive Medicine group is ovarian ageing, which has become a major clinical concern due to trends of delayed childbearing in Western societies.

In Norway, the mean age of women at first childbirth has risen from 26.5 to 27.5 years during the last decade, implying that an increasing proportion of women are giving birth after 35 years of age. Many of these women had certainly struggled conceiving, since the risk of sterility increases from 5% to 30% in women of 35-39 versus 20-24 years of age. Older mothers are also at increased risk of spontaneous abortion, complications during pregnancy and birth, and their offspring have an increased risk of congenital malformations and disease later in life.

Age-related infertility make increasingly older women to seek fertility treatment, with a nonetheless diminished hope of success. Indeed, pregnancy rate after IVF plummets in women older than 40 years, unless oocytes are donated by young women.

Our group aims to explore the mechanisms of reproductive ageing and devise strategies to improve infertility treatments. We address the following fundamental questions:

  • how molecular and cellular defects induce chromosomal errors in aged oocytes?
  • how diseases modulate ovarian ageing?
  • how to predict and overcome IVF failure in older women?

Our additional research interests are endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.