Experts believe that a hormone could provide the basis for a new form of infertility treatment.
Researchers at Imperial College London have shown that by administering the hormone kisspeptin to five infertile women, they were able to stimulate the release of sex hormones required to control the menstrual cycle.
They believe that their findings could pave the way for a new infertility treatment for women with abnormally low levels of sex hormones.
Lead researcher Dr Waljit Dhillo said that the hormone offers "huge promise" for infertile women.
"From our previous results, we know that kisspeptin can stimulate release of reproductive hormones in healthy women," he said.
"We have now extended this research to show that kisspeptin treatment has the same effect in women with infertility."
Figures suggest that around 85 per cent of couples conceive naturally within one year if they regularly have unprotected sex.
However, one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving and may benefit from infertility treatment.