This is a health video about how leptin may be used to help with infertility.
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Jennifer Matthews: Gretchen Dobson is an active professional in her mid-30s. She works out regularly and has low body fat, which have led to irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. Gretchen Dobson: My husband and I had started to want to try to have children when I was about 27, and for the last 8 years, we've tried unsuccessfully. Jennifer Matthews: Searching for answers, Gretchen joined a study on the hormone leptin to promote fertility. Gretchen Dobson: I thought that this actually could be part of the reason why I wasn't cycling. Maybe it was because I didn't have this hormone -- this leptin -- which is found in the fat cell of the body. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Corrine Welt leads the research. Dr. Corrine Welt: We think that leptin is actually the signal that tells your brain that there is enough body fat or enough energy available to reproduce. Jennifer Matthews: So far, she seems to be right. Dr. Corrine Welt: When we started giving them leptin, suddenly they started to grow eggs. They started to have ovulations again, and they started to menstruate. They felt like normal women for the first time in a long time. Jennifer Matthews: Gretchen is still trying to get pregnant but thinks she's on the right track. Gretchen Dobson: For once in almost 20 years, I was having regular periods. There was nothing that was changed in my diet, in my regular routine, other than taking this drug. Jennifer Matthews: More research needs to be done to know how effective leptin is. Until then, Gretchen keeps her hopes up that a baby will soon be on the way. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.