Researchers at the University of Southampton are trialling a novel implant device that may help people who are struggling to conceive or who have recurrent miscarriages.
The small sensor device can monitor the environment inside the womb and detect any activity that could have an impact on embryo development.
The device, which was invented at the University by Professor Ying Cheong, a reproductive medicine specialist, and bioelectronics engineer Professor Hywel Morgan, and consists of three main components: the device, a data receiver, and an undergarment that holds the receiver.
It is the same shape and size as the contraceptive coil and is inserted into the womb in a clinic.
It then monitors the uterus temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH levels, all features which can affect embryo development, continuously and transmits the data wirelessly to the receiver every 30 minutes.
Clinicians would then assess the findings and establish interventions that could help address any anomalies.
Professor Cheong and her team are inviting women to take part in a trial of the device. Volunteers must be aged between 18 and 42 and do not need to have a history of infertility or miscarriages.
“Our team hope that this is the very first step in the better understanding of the womb environment that would lead to better monitoring and treatment of infertility and recurrent miscarriages.”
It is now being developed by Oxford-based women’s health company Verso Biosense.