A new device which is capable of potentially spotting infertility has been developed by fertility specialists from the University of Southampton. Roughly equal to the size of a 5p coin, the device monitors the temperature, oxygen and pH levels within the womb.
Their goal is to identify what a healthy womb environment looks like and use that knowledge to help infertile couples conceive naturally. Here, we’ll look into this exciting new device and the impact it could have on the fertility sector.
Understanding the new infertility device
The new device is essentially a sensor which measures 3.8mm and it’s been designed by engineers and doctors at the University of Southampton. It will be used to monitor pH levels, temperature and oxygen within the womb, for a period of seven days. Up until now, doctors have been unable to monitor these factors which are known to play a role in fertility.
The sensor is inserted into the womb, much like a contraceptive coil. It takes just a few minutes to implant it, then the device will start measuring the PH, temperature and oxygen levels of the womb every 30 minutes. The readings are sent to a transmitter which is sewn into the underwear, wirelessly. From there, the data is sent to a mobile phone or computer.
After the seven days are up, the device is removed, and the doctor can then use the readings to determine the best course of treatment. It could save thousands of couples needing to undergo IVF treatment.
The infertility device could be used to develop new fertility therapies
There are a few reasons why this new device could prove crucial in the fertility sector. Firstly, it could be used to detect fertility issues much quicker than other existing methods. This could greatly reduce the chances a couple could need to resort to IVF. The earlier a problem is detected, the easier it will typically be to try and resolve.
For example, if the pH levels within the womb aren’t within the normal range, it could point to an issue with the gut. This, in turn, could be treated with something as simple as probiotics.
Another benefit of the device is the potential for new fertility therapies to be developed in the future. If the device is proven to work, the doctors and engineers behind it believe that it could pave the way for big changes within the healthcare sector.
So, now the infertility device has been developed, what’s next? Well, first it’s going to need to be tested. Initially, they will test the device on 30 women from the fertility clinic at the university.
If the initial trial goes well, they are hoping to carry out a more in-depth study, enlisting women from fertility and miscarriage clinics.
Overall, the development of the device is exciting and if the trial goes well, it could soon start to be introduced into the NHS. However, while there’s no doubt it could certainly help a lot of couples avoid IVF treatment, it is worth pointing out that your fertility issues may not be caused by a poor womb environment. Therefore, it’s crucial to visit a fertility specialist to determine the exact cause of your fertility troubles.