Ovarian Rejuvenation is an experimental procedure that may create new eggs in the ovaries of women who are unable to conceive because of early menopause, low egg counts, advanced maternal age, or women who want to continue to have their ovaries produce eggs so that natural hormones are produced.
Medicine has long thought that new eggs do not develop in the ovaries and, according to the current scientific understanding of ovarian physiology, a woman is born with all the eggs that will be available for conception during her reproductive life. It is a scientifically undisputed fact that a woman’s supply of eggs diminishes both in number and quality as she ages.
We now know about stem cells and it has been shown clearly that these exist in the ovaries. Activation of the stem cells has been demonstrated, and we are now looking at different techniques to do this for women.
How can ovarian rejuvenation occur?
Over the last decade, ovarian stem cells have been identified. Stem cell have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, or a brain cell, and in this case, a new egg.
The scientific basis for ovarian rejuvenation is in a patient’s blood. The fluid of blood contains substances called growth factors, which the body normally produces in order to heal both internal and external injuries. Growth factors cause the growth of new cells in tissues by the activation of stem cells that are normally found in all parts of the human body. Under the proper biological stimulus, stem cells can mature into any type of cell in the human body.
The Inovium™ Procedure theoretically transforms these cells into eggs by growth factors contained in the individual’s own blood contents after injections into the ovary. These growth factors are isolated from a patient’s own blood and blood cells and the fluid obtained is called PRP (platelet rich plasma).
“The discovery and understanding on ovarian stem cells has sweeping implications. One is the possibility of harnessing them to produce an unlimited number of eggs. For women struggling with fertility, this might change everything,” explains Dr Knight.
Who might it help
Any women who is in good physical health and falls into one or more of the following patient categories
- Menopausal women under the age of 50
- Infertile women of all ages (low egg reserve and low AMH levels)
- Women with premature ovarian failure
Potential benefits of ovarian rejuvenation therapy
The benefits of this procedure is the possibility of achieving pregnancy using the patient’s own eggs, which had not been possible or very unlikely prior to the procedure.
Since late 2015, clinicians in Greece have conducted preclinical trials using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to rejuvenate the ovaries of menopausal women, restore fertility and pursue pregnancy. Of the over 60 women aged 45-64 who have received the treatment so far:
· Over 75% now have the option of natural pregnancy or in vitro fertilization.
· Over 75% have also seen overall hormone levels return to youthful levels,
· 9 have begun successful pregnancies.
· 2 have had live births.
A number of clinical trials are now underway, the largest is in the USA, a multi centre study (San Diego, Chicago and New York) which began recruiting in July 2017. Ethical approval for the trial has been granted by the National Institutes of Health.
Demeter Fertility has commenced offering this experimental procedure for women in Australia. For more information, please contact us.