Getting pregnant has several critical steps. Even couples who are helped to ovulate, have a good sperm count, and time their conception perfectly may not conceive if the lining of the uterus is not healthy enough for implantation.
A normal cycle with normal hormone levels in a fertile woman will have a healthy uterine lining, however fertility treatments may mean that the hormones that help ovulation have compromised the lining of the uterus. Preparing the uterine lining has mostly been done with estrogen treatments.
It's also important to be sure you don't have other problems with the uterus, including scaring, or infection, or polyps, but again, in the absence of these some women do not conceive.
Hundreds of genes that are differently expressed at the time of implantation, as well as the immune system, play an active role during embryo-endometrium interaction Other than estrogen medicines like silenafil (yes! that's what's in Viagra), aspirin and heparin have been tried with varying success. The lining is so complex that it takes the coordinated efforts of many hormones and the synchronization of literally hundreds of genes to establish a uterus with the proper place for implantation so that coordination between embryo and endometrium can proceed and a pregnancy implant.
A new way to prepare the uterus with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy has been studied with some promising success .
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is one of the most versatile treatments in medicine and for aesthetic uses. It’s first studied medical therapeutic use was for wound healing, and it is ideally suited to heal the endometrium as well. The PRP therapy contains growth factors, adhesive proteins, clotting factors as well other important healing compounds, and compounds that help our tissues stay healthy. PRP components help us fight both inflammation and infection that may be the cause of poor implantation. PRP also stimulates new nerve formation and new blood vessel formation. The growth factors act as chemical messengers signaling the appearance of new cells. When these factors work on a tissue, stem cell production is triggered. After stem cells are produced other cells, in this case the endometrial, or uterine lining cells.
It is important to get treated with a proper concentration of PRP, and you should seek out treatment which concentrate to the best effect. The scientific definition of concentrated platelet rich plasma must meet the level of 1 million platelets per 5 cc of plasma. It is important to have this concentration in order to be able to get effective healing and treatment response. Inadequate concentration during the preparation is responsible for some reports of less than satisfying results from therapy. So it is important to be treated by PRP therapy prepared by the best technology. The platelets have a number of proteins in addition to the growth factors which are released from the platelets when they are activated. The release of the important compounds in sufficient numbers can affect the result as well. There is a direct proportion of numbers of cells produced in the treatment area directly in relationship to the concentration of the PRP. 5 x PRP concentration increases cell production of over 200% in certain parts of the body, and in active tissue like the endometrium this may be more. It may be that the PRP could enhance the effects of the other medicines like estradiol. It is used by instilling it into the uterus with a catheter.
The risks are relatively few from PRP treatment, and is regarded as something to try prior to going to a surrogate. For those interested in PRP therapy contact Women's Health Practice, 217-356-3736.