Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma, also known as PRP, is a product of whole blood.
It has been used in many medical & surgical subspecialties (Orthopedics, Dermatology, Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine) to ameliorate pain, promote healing from a previous injury through the regrowth/development of new tissue, or for hair loss by revitalizing dwindling cell function or enliven dormant cells.
More recently, PRP has been used in the reproductive arena to act as a rejuvenating substance in both the ovary and uterus to facilitate conception by improving egg quality & implantation rates. It is thought that the improvement is mediated through several possible mechanisms:

  1. An increase in uterine receptivity
  2. An increase in the endometrial lining thickness
  3. Improvement in ovarian reserve (i.e. the fertility potential remaining in the ovaries to provide eggs that can achieve conception and ultimately a live birth) in perimenopausal patients, those with premature ovarian failure, or even young women whose reserve is low.

Live in Beverly Hills and are considering PRP treatment for ovarian rejuvenation? While it is still early to characterize PRP treatment as the standard of care, evidence from worldwide medical literature although limited are both promising and compelling enough to offer it as an adjunct to conventional therapies when all others have failed.   

What is the scientific basis for PRP treatment?  PRP is a repository of many growth factors, e.g. Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), Platelet-derived growth factors, Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 & 2 (TGF-B1 & TGF-B2) & Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF),  whose role in tissue regeneration and remodeling is essential.

If PRP is a substance found in whole blood,  how can it be isolated from other products present and how is it prepared and administered ?

Normally, the blood is obtained from the patient using simple venipuncture and processed to allow for separation from whole blood into the platelet-rich fraction. After further purification, it is injected  into the site that requires amelioration, e.g. the ovary, uterine cavity or both.

What can I expect if my reproductive endocrinologist recommends PRP? 

Your doctor will first decide whether to utilize PRP treatment for the ovaries, uterus or both. This will depend on your specific clinical scenario.  

PRP for ovarian rejuvenation offered in Beverly Hills involves injection of a minute amount (1-2cc’s) of the purified PRP directly into each ovary under direct ultrasound guidance similar to how the eggs are extracted during an IVF egg retrieval.  The procedure is performed while the patient is consciously sedated using intravenous medications and continuous monitoring by a physician.  The procedure only takes a few minutes and the recovery and discharge is usually within one hour. There usually is no more than some slight abdominal cramping similar to that experienced with your menses. 

This PRP treatment we offer in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles may be attempted in concert with a conventional IVF cycle or before trying a donor egg cycle.

Uterine PRP used to improve the lining, receptivity and implantation is fairly simple to do and does not require any sedation at all. The processing of PRP is similar to that of ovarian rejuvenation except that the purified PRP is placed into a small artificial insemination catheter and  injected into the uterine cavity.  When used to improve uterine lining thickness, some may require more than the one application.

I encourage you to call IVFLA Fertility in Beverly Hills and discuss PRP treatments with our medical director to see if it may be a viable option to your fertility care or as adjunct to it.