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Male Fertility and ICSI

July 18, 2018 9:40 pm

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is a procedure whereby a single sperm cell is injected into an egg cell. In natural conditions, the sperm would use chemicals located in the head to bore through the egg’s “shell”. It is technically an IVF procedure as it is performed ‘in vitro’ (literally means ‘in glass’, contextually it means ‘within a test tube’). As you may have gathered, ICSI should mostly be used in cases where it is the male who is subfertile. The procedure of injecting a sperm into an egg bypasses the natural process. This procedure was perfected quite recently, with the first human pregnancy generated by ICSI being in 1991. It brought with it a revolution in the... View Article

standardised sperm image

Miniature Obstacle Courses Can Be Used to Sort Sperm

January 25, 2018 9:46 am

Scientists in the United States have created obstacle courses to help sort the fastest and best-formed sperm for use in IVF procedures. The obstacle course is called SPARTAN (or the Simple Periodic ARray for Trapping And isolatioN) and is 14mm long – sperm have to swim through three-dimensional pillars to emerge at the other end. Any sperm that make it within a specified time frame are judged to be the best candidates for IVF. Professor Erkan Tuzel states that, “with SPARTAN, we not only get sperm with excellent motility, but also with normal morphology and better DNA integrity, helping families worldwide by reducing the stress of multiple IVF procedures, while potentially increasing pregnancy rates.” Only normal sperm should make it... View Article

vitamin d for fertility

Vitamin D Could Improve IVF Outcomes

December 27, 2017 9:56 am

A recent study is the largest to date that examines how vitamin D affects fertility in women who are undergoing fertility treatment, namely IVF. For decades scientists have known that vitamin D is essential for mammalian reproduction, but its role in human fertility specifically has not been as well studied. The study evaluated pregnancy outcomes for 335 women who attended a fertility clinic in Milan in 2012. Researchers measured serum vitamin D levels up to 90 days before their embryo transfer. Out of the 335 women, 154 had vitamin D deficiency – the embryo implantation rate for this group was just 13% compared to 21% for women who have sufficient or higher levels of vitamin D in their serum. The... View Article

Embryo Grown in Lab for 13 days Could Revolutionise IVF

June 13, 2016 2:29 pm

Scientists have grown a human embryo in a lab for a record breaking 13 days, in a breakthrough study which could revolutionise fertility treatment for thousands of women. The human embryo survived in the lab for almost two weeks, which is double the previous record. Scientists are doing this research in the hope that it could shed light on the causes of miscarriage, genetic diseases, disabilities and infertility. Embryos which had previously been developed in the lab rarely make it past seven days without being implanted in the womb. It is unlikely that embryos intended to be implanted in patients will be kept in the lab for more than seven days in the near future, if at all. Researchers at... View Article

Tissue Freezing Provides Hope for the Future

March 31, 2016 1:00 pm Leave your thoughts

There has been some advancement in tissue freezing that is encouraging for individuals undergoing invasive cancer treatments. Concept Fertility Medical Director Kamal Ojha is involved in work with tissue freezing. He is leading research and implementing of a woman’s ovarian tissue freezing programme for the NHS at St Georges Hospital, Tooting. Here we report on some of the most recent successes and how this proactive fertility treatment is moving forward. Recent Successes in Tissue Freezing In late 2014, a healthy baby boy in Belgium made headlines when he was born from an ovary that was frozen during his mother’s childhood. The 27-year-old woman had the ovary removed when she was just 13, prior to an aggressive treatment for sickle cell... View Article

Multiple Miscarriages: Cause Found?

March 14, 2016 7:09 pm

A breakthrough in recent research may have identified a cause for thousands of women who have been suffering from repeated miscarriages.  15-25 percent of pregnancies in England and Wales end in miscarriage in the first three months. 1 per cent of women trying to conceive miscarry three times or more, and with about half of these cases, the cause is unknown. Scientists discovered that women in their test sample who have lost three or more consecutive pregnancies have a reduced number of stem cells present in their womb lining. Tests are being carried out to determine whether drugs developed to treat diabetes could be used to regenerate these cells. An endometrial scratch is an alternative procedure, where the lining of... View Article