The Uterine Microbiome and Metabolome: How Does It Correlate with Pregnancy Success Rates?
Identify biomarkers in the maternal microbiome and metabolome that correlate with IVF outcomes from embryo transfer of PGS screened embryos
Once a healthy embryo has been created, the next hurdle is the implantation of the embryo into the endometrial lining of the woman’s uterus. Failure of embryos to implant is a major cause of pregnancy failure, yet why one embryo will implant and another will not, is not clear. Being able to identify factors associated with successful implantation will lead to improved treatments and better pregnancy rates.
An important aspect of IVF research is the local environment within the endometrial lining, with the goal of identifying whether it is “receptive” to an embryo. A new research project is planned at Monash IVF to focus on specific processes within the endometrium that could relate to pregnancy outcomes.
This project will focus on metabolism within the endometrium (called the “metabolome”) and also on the so-called “microbiome”. The microbiome is the local environment of microorganisms that is present in many tissues and can be critical for tissue function. For example, the microbiome in the intestines can have a major impact on immune system and overall health. Our scientists are now performing exciting new research to investigate the microbiome within the uterus and how it may impact on implantation and pregnancy outcomes.
The metabolome and the microbiome in the endometrium and vagina of women will assess samples taken during hysteroscopy prior to commencing preimplantation genetic screening embryo transfer cycles. The data will then be tested for associations of factors with IVF outcome.