HOW IS THE OVARIAN REJUVENATION PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
When a patient has an appointment for the procedure, a transvaginal sonogram is performed prior to the procedure to evaluate the position and size of the ovaries to insure that the ovaries are in a position that can be injected safely. If the ovaries are not accessible or are too close to major blood vessels, the procedure cannot be performed.
The next step is the preparation of the patient’s Platelet Rich Plasma. This begins with a blood draw into a specialized test tube which, when centrifuged, separates the platelets and white blood cells from the red blood cells. After centrifugation, a concentrated platelet rich fraction is removed from the separator tube and is prepared for injection by the physician.
The final part of the ovarian rejuvenation process is the injection of the PRP into the ovaries. This is performed under intravenous sedation (Propofol) administered by a board certified anesthesiologist. The PRP preparation is injected into the ovaries through the vagina with a ultrasound- guided needle. This procedure is quite similar to that used for an IVF egg retrieval.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND RISKS OF THE OVARIAN REJUVENATION PROCEDURE?
This process of ovarian rejuvenation provides a possibility of resurrecting fertility or some degree of ovarian hormonal function in a group of women who have no viable or poor quality eggs in their ovaries and therefore have virtually no probability of having a baby.
Other potential benefits, apart from conception, include resumption of menstrual periods, relief of menopausal symptoms caused by ovarian hormonal deficiency, and an increase in sexual drive and improved sexual function.
It is impossible to accurately predict the potential for positive results in terms of pregnancy or symptomatic improvement for any individual prior to PRP therapy. Although the procedure seems quite simple on the surface, there are many complex interactions between the cells that exist in an individual’s ovaries and the growth factors produced by their platelet cells. Beneficial results, if any, will be noticed between 2 to 24 weeks.
Since this is innovative therapy that attempts to reverse natural menopause or positively effect the quality of existing eggs remaining in an infertile woman’s ovaries, it must be understood that there can be no guarantee that pregnancy or any other benefit, will occur after PRP injection.
The risk of injury or complications occurring as a result of this procedure is very similar to that of an IVF egg retrieval, which is technically similar to Ovarian Rejuvenation. Fortunately, major complications, such as internal bleeding or infection, from egg retrieval procedures are very rare. No complications have occurred in the patients treated thus far in our clinic.
Immediately after the procedure, approximately 20% of women injected will notice some mild discomfort in the lower abdomen or pressure in their ovaries, which usually is gone within 1-2 hours with oral pain medication. A small amount of bleeding from the vagina may be noticed after the procedure from the site of the needle punctures. Rarely sutures must be placed in the vaginal tissue to stop bleeding.
Although rare, major complications, such as internal bleeding or infection, when they occur, are life threatening and require hospitalization and surgical intervention. Anesthetic complications with Propofol are also extremely rare, but any anesthetic agent can cause respiratory or cardiac problems which could ultimately result in death.