With an overall effectiveness below 30%, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is in urgent need for improvements, especially in view of the increasing trend in postponing childbirth in developed societies. Abnormal contraction of the uterus may underlie impaired fertility and unsuccessful IVF. However, currently, there is no method for quantitative assessment of uterine activity and guidance of dedicated intervention. Analysis of the electrohysterogram (EHG) has been extensively used in pregnancy for quantifying uterine contractions. In this paper, we evaluate, for the first time, the use of EHG analysis for characterizing contractions in women in two different phases of the menstrual cycle, when the uterus is expected to be active and quiescent. In this preliminary study, by estimating the time evolution of the EHG signal energy, we derive the contraction frequency, fC, as a possible marker for quantifying the activity of the uterus and discriminate between active and quiescent status. Ultrasound (US) image sequences are simultaneously recorded and visually analyzed for a qualitative validation of the results. The high correlation (0.91) between fC obtained by EHG and US analysis and the measured different values of fC in the two phases motivate further research to confirm the value of EHG analysis for contraction quantification in nonpregnant women.
|Title of host publication
|2015 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 25-29 August 2015, Milan, Italy
|Place of Publication
|Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
|Published - 2015