New Treatment Significantly Improves IVF Success Rates


A woman's chances of pregnancy success with an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment could be increased dramatically with a new medication, according to study.This medication, researchers say, significantly improves the lining of the uterus making pregnancy more likely.

Women who are unable to get pregnant on their own, but still have viable eggs or donor eggs, are often candidates for IVF treatment. This treatment allows for the woman's own eggs to be fertilized with her partner's sperm outside her body to create an embryo which can then be transferred into her uterus for pregnancy. IVF treatment has afforded many women the ability to have a child, however the success rate for this treatment still remains less than 50 percent. For this reason doctors and researchers have continued to pursue ways to increase a woman's success with IVF treatment.

One reason that researchers have identified which impairs a woman's ability to establish pregnancy with her transferred embryo is a inadequate lining on the inside of her uterus. During a normal menstrual cycle this lining thickens and becomes ideal for pregnancy. However, in some women the lining remain too thin and an embryo cannot survive. Thus, natural or IVF pregnancy becomes highly unlikely.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Center for Human Reproduction, examined women who had been highly unresponsive to fertility treatment as a result of thin uterine lining. Each women were given an uterine perfusion of a medication called granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). All four of the women who received this treatment displayed an adequate thickening of the uterine lining within 48 hours which allowed for an IVF embryo transfer and, surprisingly, all of them became pregnant.


"Conventional treatments for inadequate endometrium have had spotty success at best. Without G-CSF perfusion, these patients, likely, would not have reached embryo transfer," explains David Barad, MD, one of the lead authors of the study. "That all of them also conceived was a big surprise, and is, of course, quite remarkable."

G-CSF is a medication which causes the production and maturation of stem cells. It is most often given to patients after cancer treatment to accelerate recovery from chemotherapy. Its beneficial effects on encouraging cell growth are what researchers believe help thicken the lining of the uterus for pregnancy.

The results of this research study were published in the February edition of Fertility and Sterility, the official medical journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

The study's authors acknowledge that these results are preliminary and further research is needed, however it appears that this is a promising development in increasing IVF success rates for women.