Women’s Health Month: Advancements in Reproductive Medicine 

In the last two decades, there have been significant advancements in women’s reproductive health. Women have been historically excluded from medical research, leading to a limited understanding of female fertility. However, since the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring the inclusion of women in NIH-sponsored clinical trials in 1993, there have been many important advancements in reproductive health that have furthered our collective understanding of fertility. 

In honor of May being Women’s Health Month, we’re exploring three recent breakthroughs in reproductive medicine that have transformed women’s health and created new ways to assist women and intended parents on their fertility journeys. 

Achieving IVF Success with Endometrial Receptivity Analyses 

Endometrial receptivity analyses (ERA) have revolutionized the world of IVF. ERA is a genetic test that helps medical professionals determine the best day of transfer for an embryo during a cycle of IVF. This information can be incredibly helpful in the success rate of IVF rounds, especially for women who have experienced two or more unsuccessful embryo transplants.  

According to Igenomix, an analysis starts with an endometrial biopsy in a mock embryo transfer cycle prior to IVF. The collected sample will then be assessed for endometrial receptivity. From there, a lab will determine the best time to perform embryo implantation for a future transfer cycle.   

ERA is most often recommended for women who have undergone two or more unsuccessful IVF cycles or for women who have suffered two or more miscarriages. The information ERA can provide to women and their healthcare providers has improved the success rate for women undergoing IVF since its inception. 

Supporting Fertility through Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Injections 

Poor ovarian reserve (POR) is a prominent cause of infertility in many women of advanced reproductive age (>35). POR indicates a reduction in egg count in comparison to other women of the same age. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have become a popular, nonoperative treatment in the last few years for women struggling with infertility, especially those experiencing POR. 

PRP can be used for ovarian rejuvenation to restore fertility. According to a study published in Cureus, PRP is derived from whole blood that has undergone a process to remove the red blood cells and the production of plasma with a five to 10-fold higher concentration of growth factors. This creates a natural product containing highly concentrated platelets with “growth factors in concentrations that are three to five times higher than plasma.” 

Cureus’ study conducted PRP intraovarian infusion in 569 women ranging in age from 22-46+. The results determined that PRP intraovarian infusion could effectively restore ovarian functionality and hormonal profile in certain women. In many of the successful cases, pregnancy was achieved for the participants. 

Increasing IVF Viability with Follicle-stimulating Hormone Blood Tests 

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) affects the function of the ovaries and testicles. The hormone is paramount to a successful pregnancy. In women, a fluctuation in FSH levels can lead to infertility.  

According to the Cleveland Clinic, FSH stimulates follicles on a woman’s ovary to grow and prepare eggs for ovulation. For women undergoing IVF, it’s essential that the levels of FSH in the body is lower than 15 milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL). Levels above this range can hurt the chances of a successful round of IVF treatments.  

Medical professionals have developed a blood test to determine the level of FSH in the blood. Knowing the level of FSH informs medical professionals of what could be prohibiting IVF success. Those who have irregular rates of FSH while undergoing IVF are typically treated with hormone injections. Plus, injections could soon be replaced with an FSH oral pill, which would make the treatment non-invasive and more accessible to the general population. 



For more information on Cryoport Systems’ support of intended parents’ fertility journeys, visit our website at www.ivf.cryoport.com.