Pioneering IVF research for women with thin-walled wombs
Mar 23, 2020
A new clinical trial conducted through Greenslopes Private Hospital is pioneering early stage research for aspiring parents using IVF, who have been rendered infertile due to the woman having a thin lining of the womb.
The first-in-class pilot clinical research study, which aims to use platelet rich plasma (PRP) to support the development of the lining of the womb and provide the best embryo development, has achieved a live birth and a pregnancy of more than 12 weeks to date. The trial is being coordinated by Care Fertility Clinic and Greenslopes Private Hospital.
Study lead, Dr Clare Boothroyd, Medical Director of Care Fertility, explained the PRP pilot study she and her team are coordinating has been designed to help women who have a thin endometrium (womb lining) to achieve a successful pregnancy.
“A thin endometrium is an uncommon and very difficult to treat condition, with about two per cent of couples requiring IVF living with a too thin lining of the womb. It often leaves women infertile or unable to support the pregnancy once the embryo is transferred to the uterus.
“Our study aims to address this condition through the use of platelet rich plasma, which we extract from a subject’s own blood and introduce into the thin endometrium."
“We are working to the [yet to be proven] hypothesis that PRP has stem cells in it, which help to repopulate the thin endometrium with new cells which results in a thicker lining, more implantations, and fewer miscarriages.”
While the initial study results are promising, Dr Boothroyd continues to invite more couples using IVF therapy and living with too thin lining of the womb to sign up to participate in the research study.
“This is a great result for the clinical trial, but more research and trials are needed,” said Dr Boothroyd.
“Having a relatively uncommon condition is very difficult for these couples as there are few studies to guide management. If you fit our study criteria, and are interested in participating, we encourage you to get in touch.”
“Growing an embryo in a womb with thin lining is a bit like growing a plant in poor potting mix or on rocky ground and has an adverse prognosis, however, our initial clinical trial results and data are clearly encouraging, and we are excited about the study success to date.”
Key information about participating in the PRP clinical trial:
The platelet rich plasma (PRP) trial is aimed at females where the lining of their uterus is thin because of a past injury to the lining, for example after curettage or with adenomyosis. Although having a thin uterus lining is an uncommon cause of infertility, it can be difficult to treat. Embryos often do not implant into a thin endometrium and if they do, miscarriage is common.
Who is eligible?
Females who have had a history of cancelled cycles due to thin endometrium and is also persistent and unresponsive to other methods of thickening the endometrium.
What are the risks?
Although risks are uncommon, the known risks are infection (fever, pain, vaginal bleeding) which may require antibiotic therapy and scarring of the uterine cavity.