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New factor contributing to higher IVF success rates

More than 80% attempts of in vitro fertilization in France result in a failure. Researchers from our laboratory and their partners have demonstrated that measuring the levels of protein PROK1 in the ovarian environment could lead to an increase in success rates.

Published on 25 November 2015
In France, one in every 6 couples has problems with infertility. Many of them choose assisted reproductive technology, and in vitro fertilization (IVF) in particular, as an alternative. This technique consists in puncturing the ovarian follicles and extracting the egg cells to combine them with spermatozoids in vitro for fertilization. The resulting embryo(s) are then placed into the uterus. In collaboration with UJF and the Grenoble teaching hospital, we have shown that the presence of protein PROK1 in the follicular liquid (during egg retrieval) and in the fertilization environment are predictive markers of successful pregnancy.

"We had already shown that this protein, also called EG-VEGF, appeared as a promising candidate due to its biological characteristics that have direct implications in pregnancy, its contribution to the development of the placenta in particular", said researchers Sophie Brouillet and Nadia Alfaidy from our laaboratory. A prospective study carried out at the Grenoble teaching hospital between 2013 and 2015 including 135 couples has revealed that PROK1 levels could constitute new predictive markers of success. "These results prove the feasibility and the interest of measuring PROK1 levels", the biologists said. "This could lead to an increase in singleton pregnancies, which remains the only protection against the risks faced by mothers and their fetuses in multiple pregnancies."

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