What is Ovarian Rejuvenation?
Women (even postmenopausal ones) always have eggs inside their ovaries but a lot (or all) of these eggs are dormant. Ovarian rejuvenation is a newly pioneered procedure intended to re-awake egg maturation and development within the ovary. Though many different processes are currently being tested, each procedure seeks to generate increased fertility within women who otherwise cannot conceive easily. There is a range of reasons why a woman would require ovarian rejuvenation. Older women going through menopause, younger women experiencing early ovarian failure, and those suffering from fertility related disease, can make excellent candidates. Ideally, Ovarian Rejuvenation Therapy should be used to achieve pregnancy in women with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) [previously called Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)].
Ovarian Rejuvenation Therapy
1. Modified Ovarian Rejuvenation – While more than a few different procedures exist, New Hope Fertility has pioneered a minimally invasive vaginal procedure designed to puncture the ovary itself to relieve pressure placed on the follicle from the ovarian wall, which becomes rigid with age. It’s known that this pressure can prevent normal egg development, so the punctures help alleviate that stress. Additionally, ovarian puncture will increase blood flow to the dormant eggs with the hope to stimulate them to grow because blood contains a lot of “growth factors.”
2. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Injections – PRP Injections is another technique where blood is taken from the forearm and centrifuged so the platelet-rich plasma is isolated and then reinjected back into the ovary in order to activate dormant follicles. This is done in the hospital under sedation. It is a surgical procedure performed through the belly button.
3. Another technique is to inject Patient’s Own Fat Stem Cells directly into the ovaries. Our body fat is known to have stem cells. In this procedure, fat cells are removed from the abdomen (similar to liposuction) then stem cells are isolated. Then the stem cells are injected inside the ovaries in a manner similar to the Modified Ovarian Rejuvenation (see above #1).
If you schedule a consultation with New Hope and see Dr. Zaher Merhi, you may discuss the various treatment options available to you. Ovarian Rejuvenation is a cutting-edge fertility procedure and as such, is still considered experimental with unknown success rates and outcomes.
IDEAL CANDIDATES FOR OVARIAN REJUVENATION THERAPY
- Women with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) [previously called Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)]. Typically younger than 40
- Women with early peri-menopause
- Women who have a low ovarian reserve and those with low Anti-Mullerian (AMH) hormone (AMH) levels
Dr. Zaher Merhi explains Ovarian Rejuvenation options and Follow-up
Follow-up after Ovarian Rejuvenation
Following the procedure, patients are monitored weekly for a month with blood test for levels of certain reproductive hormones, including Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Estradiol (E2), and sometimes AMH. A vaginal ultrasound is also performed at the time of the blood test in order to count the number of follicles inside the ovaries.
Ovarian rejuvenation operative report:
After proper consent from the patient, I performed ovarian puncture. During the consent, I informed the patient about the risks of the procedure which include bleeding, infection, injury to the bowel/bladder. Ovarian puncture under transvaginal ultrasound guidance using 18 g needle was performed. I punctured each ovary around 10 times after cleaning the vagina with betadine under IV sedation anesthesia. Patient tolerated the procedure well.
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