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Intraovarian injection of platelet-rich plasma in assisted reproduction: too much too soon?

Atkinson, Lloyd; Martin, Francesca; Sturmey, Roger G.


Lloyd Atkinson

Francesca Martin


The prospect of ovarian rejuvenation offers the tantalising prospect of treating age-related declines in fertility or in pathological conditions such as premature ovarian failure. The concept of ovarian rejuvenation was invigorated by the indication of the existence of oogonial stem cells (OSCs), which have been shown experimentally to have the ability to differentiate into functional follicles and generate oocytes; however, their clinical potential remains unknown.  Furthermore, there is now growing interest in performing ovarian rejuvenation in situ.  One proposed approach involves injecting the ovary with platelet rich plasma (PRP).

PRP is a component of blood that remains after the in vitro removal of red and white blood cells.  It contains blood platelets, tiny anucleate cells of the blood, which are responsible for forming a thrombus to prevent bleeding.  In addition, PRP contains an array of cytokines and growth factors, as well as a number of small molecules.  The utility of PRP has been investigated in a range of regenerative medicine approaches and has been shown to induce differentiation of a range of cell types, presumably through the action of cytokines. 

A handful of case reports have described the use of PRP injections into the ovary in the human, and while these clinical data report promising results, knowledge on the mechanisms and safety of PRP injections into the ovary remain limited.  In this article, we summarise some of the physiological detail of platelets and PRP, before reviewing the existing emerging literature in this area. We then propose potential mechanisms by which PRP may be eliciting any effects before reflecting on some considerations for future studies in the area. Importantly, on the basis of our existing knowledge, we suggest that immediate use of PRP in clinical applications is perhaps premature and further fundamental and clinical research on the nature of ovarian insufficiency, as well as the mechanism by which PRP may act on the ovary, is needed to fully understand this promising development.


Atkinson, L., Martin, F., & Sturmey, R. G. (2021). Intraovarian injection of platelet-rich plasma in assisted reproduction: too much too soon?. Human Reproduction, 36(7), 1737-1750.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2021
Online Publication Date May 8, 2021
Publication Date Jun 18, 2021
Deposit Date May 20, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 9, 2022
Journal Human reproduction (Oxford, England)
Print ISSN 0268-1161
Electronic ISSN 1460-2350
Publisher European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 7
Article Number deab106
Pages 1737-1750
Keywords Ovarian rejuvenation; Platelet rich plasma; Premature ovarian failure; Oogonial stem cells; Cytokines
Public URL


HUMREP-20-1785 Fig 1 (221 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2021.

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