Womens Health

Latest Fertility Research

As more and more couples put off having children until well into their 30's, when fertility starts to decline, they often need to use assisted reproduction methods. As doctors and researchers become more knowledgeable about assisted conception, methods and techniques are refined. There are also companies that research and develop new infertility treatments and devices which need to be tested and approved before being released for general use.

Treatment Trials

If you want the latest treatments without having to pay a lot of money, you may find that volunteering for a treatment trial will help you. There are lots of treatment trials for drugs, devices and techniques currently under development or which are seeking FDA or CE (European) approval and need human volunteers. It is very important to understand that if you do volunteer for a trial, the treatment may have unexpected side effects, or may not work. In the case of double blind trials you may be allocated to the control group and therefore only receive a 'sham' treatment, device or procedure. However when all the pros and cons are explained to you, you may not only benefit scientific research but also end up getting pregnant as a result of your participation! If fertility treatment would otherwise be financially out of the question for you, ask your medical practitioner if there are any suitable treatment trials in your area.

Slow Release IUI Sperm Pump

IUI treatment usually injects a lot of sperm in one go into the womb which can overwhelm the egg and prevent it from accepting an individual sperm. This new slow release sperm pump method, known as the 'Evie,' allows sperm to be slowly released through the cervix over a period of about three hours. This imitates nature and means that the 'window of opportunity' for the sperm to meet the egg is longer. Recent trials in Europe show that the success rate is similar to that of IVF treatment and over double the rate of standard IUI treatment. It has received both FDA and CE approval. This device should be widely available in 2011. If you are considering having IUI treatment ask if this device is suitable in your case.

INVOcell IVF Device

INVOcell is a small capsule placed in the vagina that acts as an incubator for the egg and sperm, making it an ideal treatment for women who live far away from conventional IVF centers. It is a comparatively low cost procedure and helps the woman to feel involved with the whole IVF process. The sperm and egg are put in the capsule together with a culture medium and the device is put in the woman's vagina where it is incubated for three days. The resulting embryo is transferred to the womb and success rates are similar to conventional IVF. However it is not suitable for women who need to have their retrieved eggs or embryos frozen for use at a later date. It is currently available in Canada and Latin America as well as parts of Europe but has yet to receive FDA approval in the United States.


DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a supplement that has been shown to be very beneficial to women having IVF treatment over the last few years. Recent Israeli research has shown that taking DHEA triples the pregnancy rates of women having IVF. It is especially helpful for women who have diminished ovarian reserves.

Make sure to ask your specialist about any treatments you are considering as they may not be suitable in your situation.

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