There’s a potential medical breakthrough happening right here in Chicagoland.
A La Grange woman says a new clinical trial is the reason she's pregnant after years of failed IVF treatments.
Cara Vanlandingham says for years her dogs have been her children. But soon, her canine buddies will have to compete with a baby girl due in December.
Becoming a mother is a dream come true.
“I actually left my job just so i could kind of be a mom,” Cara said.
But Cara wasn't sure it would ever happen. After nearly three years of failed IVF treatments and two miscarriages, she felt defeated.
“We were just really, really devastated after that, and kind of, almost giving up,” Cara said.
Then she heard about a trial for a new study using something called PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma and she decided to give it a try.
PRP is a type of blood plasma taken from a patient’s body that contains many more platelets than are typically found in blood. This results in a higher concentration of growth factors that are believed to speed up the healing process.
During the past several years, it's been used in the treatment of injuries and touted by famous athletes such as Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal.
“Here’s the great thing about PRP - it comes from your own body,” said Dr. Randy Morris.
Doctor Morris injected PRP into Cara’s uterine cavity three days prior to implanting her embryo. He says PRP helps a woman's uterus accept a new embryo for the same reason it heals an athlete’s injured muscles and joints, by stimulating the development of new tissue.
“The most painful part is just getting your blood drawn,” Dr. Morris said.
Morris says his office isolates platelets in a lab before putting them in a targeted area near the uterus.
Cara credits the treatment with her current, successful pregnancy.
“I have friends that have had the same issues, multiple miscarriages, and I’ve just been telling a lot of people,” she said.
Morris says it's still too soon to draw any conclusions about PRP and pregnancy.
“For right now, it's exciting, it seems like that it might be doing something for us,” Dr. Morris said.
And now, Cara is trading in time with the dogs for getting the nursery and closet ready for their new arrival.
“We’re excited. So, so excited. I want her here now,” she said.
Dr. Morris says PRP may actually help with the success rates of IVF treatments also. Doctors now suspect the cause of many failures is not the embryo, but the uterus. So far he's had three pregnancy success stories while using PRP.
Doctor Morris and IVF 1 is looking for more women to participate in the study and try PRP free of charge.
You can learn more about that here: http://www.ivf1.com/ivf1-research-studies