These days it is possible to renew the patient's reproductive abilities by using the patient's own stem cells.
Stem cells are unique cells that carry an ability to morph into any type of human cells, including reproductive ones, such as eggs. Several studies show that stem cells exist in the human ovaries. Injected with growth factors contained in white blood cells and platelets, these cells have a possibility of morphing into reproductive cells. This is the main purpose of Ovarian PRP rejuvenation procedure. Injecting these growth factors, made from the patient's own blood and blood cells is known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) therapy.
Growth factors are a natural product created by blood cells, namely platelets and white blood cells in cases of injury, in order to speed up the healing process. For example, in cases of skin injury, the injured area is coated in a combination of platelets, white blood cells, blood clotting and growth factors. This combination then stops the bleeding, prevents infection, and, in time grows into new connective tissues, blood vessels, new skin and nerves, thus healing the injury.
PRP injections have been succesfully used in treating bone grafts, soft and connective tissue injuries. This therapy is also used by professional athletes the speed up the healing of sports-related injuries, and by burn patients in healing skin grafts and non-surgical facelifts.
While research study opinions are divided over the efficacy of PRP treatment, one positive advantage remains constant - procedural safety. Since the procedure is performed using the patient's own blood, there is no transmission of various blood borne viruses, such as HIV, Hepatitis and others. Besides that, no synthetic chemical additives are used in PRP rejuvenation, thus lessening the possibility of allergic reaction to near zero.
Ovarian PRP procedure, step by step
The process of ovarian platelet-rich plasma (PRP) rejuvenation consists of two steps. First, the patient's platelet-rich plasma needs to be prepared. The process itself takes less than an hour. To prepare the plasma, several tubes of patient's blood are extracted via a needle from the patient's vein. This blood sample is then interred into a specialized centrifuge, where it is separated into white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets in a process known as centrifugation. The blood sample, spinning at high speeds, is divided into red blood cells, white blood cells and the concentrated platelets. Afterwards, red blood cells are removed, which results in platelet-rich plasma, ready to be injected.
The second step of the process is the injection of the prepared plasma. Before the procedure, the patient is sedated using a Propofol anesthetic. Then, using a transvaginal, ultrasound-guided puncture needle, the platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into the female patient's ovaries. The technique used is comparable to egg retrieval procedure during the In-Vitro Fertilization. Unlike several other PRP injection methods, this approach is less invasive, generally safer, and has a shorter, more comfortable recovery time.
Benefits and risks
The key benefit of the PRP rejuvenation procedure is the possibility to conceive a child with the patient's own eggs, which might have been impossible prior to this procedure due to various medical reasons.
The risks of this procedure are miniscule and comparable to the egg retrieval procedure performed during the In-Vitro Fertilization treatment. The possible side effects are pain, which usually resolves within 1-2 hours with pain medication, fever or internal bleeding. In rare cases, some complications can occur that could require hospitalization. Also, it is crucial to understand that after the ovarian rejuvenation pregnancy there exists no foolproof guarantee that conception or pregnancy will occur. While the possibility can increase, it is important to know that pregnancy, either natural or as a result due to follow-up fertility treatments, is not assured.
Female patients in good physical health and belonging to one or multiple of five patient categories are considered eligible for ovarian rejuvenation procedure. These categories include menopausal or perimenopausal women under the age of 50, infertile women over the age of 35 years with low egg reserves and Anti-Mullerian Hormone levels, women under 35 with low egg reserves and Anti-Mullerian Hormone levels, women with premature ovarian failure (POF), and women with low egg reserves who plan to undergo an assisted fertilization procedure. Patients who fit these aforementioned categories are considered eligible for the platelet-rich plasma rejuvenation procedure and should consider receiving one.