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Ovarian Rejuvenation

What is Ovarian Rejuvenation? 

Ovarian Rejuvenation therapy is a new, experimental procedure, registered as a Clinical Trial, that may stimulate the growth of new eggs in the ovaries of women who have been previously unable to conceive due to: 

  • Premature ovarian failure (early menopause).
  • Suboptimal response to hormone stimulation (low egg numbers during IVF or ICSI or low AMH). 
  • Advanced maternal age. 

Ovarian Rejuvenation involves injecting growth factors, which have been extracted from a patient’s own serum, into the ovary using a technique similar to that used to extract eggs for IVF. 

What is Ovarian Rejuvenation used for?

Scientists have thought for over 100 years that women are born with a finite number of eggs.  However, new research shows this may not be the case and the ovaries (organs that produce the eggs) may be capable of growing new eggs.   

By injecting growth factors directly into the ovaries, it is hoped in the treatment cycles that follow, there will be an increase in egg and embryo numbers and quality, and a subsequent increase in the chance of pregnancy for patients whose chance would otherwise be very low. 

What do we do know about Ovarian Rejuvenation?

Ovarian Rejuvenation has enabled some women, who have been previously diagnosed as menopausal or too close to menopause to attempt IVF, to undergo IVF or achieve a natural pregnancy. 

Ovarian Rejuvenation has assisted some women to have a pregnancy with their own eggs in situations where it was thought that donated eggs were the only option. 

Success with Ovarian Rejuvenation may be seen by: 

    • A return of menstrual periods where they previously had stopped. 
    • A reduction in FSH levels and a rise in AMH levels in menopausal women, which is hoped will be associated with a return of ovarian function and eggs. 

What don't we know about Ovarian Rejuvenation? 

Where are the eggs coming from?   

There is evidence that suggest these are new eggs made from oocyte precursor cells in the ovary. 

Likelihood of success? 

As there are no randomised trials using ovarian rejuvenation therapy the strength of the effect and the chance of success or failure is unknown. A small randomised pilot study comparing IVF outcomes in women with a proven poor ovarian reserve in their 40s reports a trend towards benefit that was not statistically significant in treated patients, a 35% no response rate in the treated group and a 7% spontaneous pregnancy rate in treated patients. 

How long will the improvement last? 

It does appear to be a temporary improvement lasting in the order of 6 months. 

Safety

Intra-ovarian injections for ovarian rejuvenation appears to be a very safe procedure, with no reported harm occurring as a result of having it done. Unfortunately though, as very few treatments have been done, the short and long term risks must be regarded as unknown and the procedure must be regarded as experimental. We will be closely monitoring any side effects as part of the study. 

How we can help you? 

Fertility North is the only fertility clinic in Western Australia, and one of the only clinics in Australia, offering Ovarian Rejuvenation therapy.  Our clinical trial was registered in 2019 and we offer a number of different Ovarian Rejuvenation treatment options. 

To make an appointment to discuss whether you are eligible for Ovarian Rejuvenation, or to find out more about what is involved, please contact the team at Fertility North.