A new pilot study has shown that a novel treatment approach holds promise for restoring ovarian function in early menopausal women.
In the small-scale study, the novel approach of administering platelet-rich plasma and gonadotropins near the ovarian follicles is showing promise for restoring ovarian function in early menopausal women.
The results have been published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), in the article ‘Resumed ovarian function and pregnancy in early menopausal women by whole dimension subcortical ovarian administration of platelet-rich plasma and gonadotropins.’
Around 12.2% of women go through early menopause, meaning their chance of conception is cut short due to the cessation of ovarian function at or before the age of 45 years. For these women, the only chance of becoming pregnant is with donor eggs.
A number of different treatment options have previously been investigated, including standard, controlled ovarian stimulation, and platelet-rich plasma, which has been used in women with primary ovarian insufficiency. However, very few pregnancies and live births have resulted from these treatments.
Due to the lack of success with these traditional treatments, more novel approaches, such as methods for inducing the growth of ovarian follicles, are being pursued.
For this study, the platelet-rich plasma and gonadotropins were injected into the ovaries of study participants. The researchers saw extremely successful results from this method – after treatment, 11 of the 12 study participants resumed menstruation, and one achieved clinical pregnancy, defined as a pregnancy that is confirmed by ultrasound as well as a foetal heartbeat.
Dr Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director, said: “This pilot study investigating the use of platelet-rich plasma and gonadotropins injected into the ovaries of women with early menopause highlights the promise of regenerative medicine in restoring or prolonging fertility.
“Additional studies conducted prospectively and involving large numbers of women are needed to determine whether this is truly a viable option for women with early menopause hoping to achieve pregnancy using their own eggs.”
These early results regarding the successful resumption of ovarian function offer hope to women in early menopause who may be able to pursue pregnancy through in vitro fertilisation using their own eggs.