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New Approach of Uterine Preparation in IVF Cycles

Emory University, Atlanta, GA

22 July 2012

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It is well known that fertility success rates are low in IVF cycles and that the primary culprit is failure of the embryo to attach to the uterine wall (failed embryonic implantation). Since IVF began in the 70s the most common means of preparing the uterus for implantation has been progesterone in oil that is injected intramuscularly (IM). This method was more recently modified by vaginal suppositories which are just as effective as the IM injection and are less painful and more user-friendly. Both these means of progesterone administration (IM and suppository) are methods of systemic administrations whereby progesterone enters the bloodstream and eventually reaches the uterus.

Oral administration of progesterone has never been used because the hormone is rapidly metabolized by the liver and very little hormone ever enters the bloodstream, certainly not enough to reach and enter the uterus to prepare for implantation of an embryo.

Scientists at Emory University recently recognized that systemic administrations of progesterone are subject to tremendous reductions of hormonal concentrations due to what is known as “the first uterine pass effect”.  The actual amount of progesterone that reaches the inside of the uterus (where it is needed) is reduced significantly, as concentrations initially spike but diminish rapidly after daily administration. The needed affects of the progesterone at the uterine surface are greatly hindered by this administration to the outside of the uterus, mainly due to the vasculature and surrounding tissues of the uterus.

A novel approach of progesterone administration to the inside of the uterus has been patented and developed at Emory University Office of Technology Transfer and is awaiting clinical trials. This new targeted approach of the hormone promises to enhance implantation of embryos by sustaining needed concentrations of progesterone at the uterine surface for greatly improved fertility success rates in IVF/ART cycles. In fact, induced implantation of a viable embryo may be possible via this localized therapeutic approach which would have profound impact upon those infertile couples who wish to achieve pregnancy by assisted means.

More information can be found at: http://emoryott.technologypublisher.com/technology/7871

A detailed scientific summary can also be obtained at Emory University, Office of Technology Transfer, Atlanta, GA


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Date Added: 22 July 2012   Date Updated: 22 July 2012
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