For typical infertility patients, the many advances in infertility care over the last few years have resulted in quite high rates of success from in vitro fertilization (IVF). Unfortunately, there are still some groups of patients for whom success is uncertain or even unlikely. Women who have “ovarian resistance” and respond poorly to treatment due to advanced age or other issues are the largest group of such patients. Until now, there was little that could be done to help these women. Dr. Samuel Wood, President and Medical Director of the Gen 5 Fertility Center, and its staff, are now pleased to offer the world’s most advanced program for Ovarian Rejuvenation using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and EnPlaf. Gen 5 Fertility has published several scientific papers in the past year about this exciting program with more to come soon.
Gen 5 Fertility (G5F) is the first IVF clinic in the United States to focus on therapeutic and research applications for PRP and EnPLAF for the human ovary. Members of our team worked on the first registered “ovarian rejuvenation” human research study in the United States, as listed with ClinicalTrials.gov. It is a safe, but relatively new, procedure in which platelet-derived growth factors are placed inside the ovaries near eggs and potential eggs. This is achieved by a near-painless injection through the top of the vagina under direct ultrasound guidance. No anesthesia is required.
In addition to other ways these techniques might be helpful, they may recruit stem cells so that they develop into eggs. If the number and/or quality of the eggs available for IVF is increased, the chance of pregnancy may be improved and the need for donor eggs reduced.
Because ovarian PRP involves the use of a patient’s own platelets, rather than donor platelets, there is no risk of cell rejection or graft-versus-host reaction. The procedure is almost always well-tolerated and there have been no adverse events or complications associated with PRP as performed by our proprietary method.
Gen 5 Fertility believes that it is essential for any patients considering this program to be fully informed about it. Prior to performing these procedures, all patients receive extensive information about the procedure and whether it is the right procedure for them. Each patient also receives our estimate of how likely it is to work for them. Unfortunately, it does not work for everyone, but recent advances in how the procedure is done (Generation 2) have been accomplished in an attempt to raise the percentage of women who respond.
This is how the procedure works. First, blood is drawn from the patient and the blood is processed to isolate the platelets, one of the three main types of cells present in blood. Prior to each procedure, your vagina is cleaned to prepare for the injections. In the case of the Ovarian Rejuvenation with PRP, the platelets are “activated” which causes them to begin releasing several growth factors. Using a vaginal ultrasound, the ovaries are identified, and activated PRP is injected into each accessible ovary in a special way. In the case of the Ovarian Rejuvenation with EnPLAF procedure, the platelets are held in an incubator while they release the growth factors into the fluid around them. This fluid, now filled with growth factors, is then injected into each accessible ovary, again using a special technique. In each case, a very small needle is used so that patients usually report no more discomfort than from a typical blood draw. The injections take approximately 10 seconds per ovary. The entire procedure takes about 45-60 minutes for ovarian PRP and around 2.5 hours for ovarian EnPlaf.
The goal of treatment with PRP and with EnPLAF is to improve (“rejuvenate”) ovarian function primarily by fostering the development of more high-quality oocytes. When this succeeds, your hormonal profile will change and additional follicles will appear to be developing in ovaries previously considered dormant. After doing baseline hormonal tests, we usually repeat them monthly for 3-4 months.
At long last, there is hope for one of the most difficult of all infertility problems.
Photography by: Gen 5 Fertility Center