Female Fertility Predictor

The results of a new study from Denmark reported in the Journal of Reproduction has shown that your mothers age at menopause may be a good predictor of fertility.

The researchers  studied  527 women between the age of 20-40 years of age, and found that women whose mothers had an early menopause had far fewer viable eggs in their ovaries than those women whose mothers had a later menopause.

Women are born with all the eggs that they will ever have, and so those women that had fewer viable eggs have fewer chances of conceiving. This can be measured and is known as the ‘ovarian reserve’

The message from the study seems to be that if your mother had an early menopause then statistically you have a higher chance of having a low ovarian reserve and so should avoid postponing trying to conceive and start early. But this does not mean you can be complacent if you mother had a late menopause.

The message for all women is to avoid postponing & start early as ovarian reserve declines with age. In times of recession lots of women may put off starting a family and then face difficulties later due to reduced fertility.

Source BBC news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20217735

INFOGRAPHIC: Egg Sharing Results at CRM London

Following on from CRM London’s recent post detailing the results of their egg sharing programme between 2007 and 2011, they have now released an infographic visualising these statistics:

Please feel free to use our infographic on your own website or blog using the code below:

Fertility News & Research

Here is a  round up of the fertility stories in the BBC news in the last couple of months:

‘Eating disorders delay pregnancy’

Women with a history of eating disorders may struggle to fall pregnant quickly, research suggests.

They are also more than twice as likely to need fertility treatment, a study of more than 11,000 UK mothers has found.

Pregnancy rates after six months were lower in women with anorexia or bulimia, but by a year they were the same as the general population.

Would-be mothers should seek help early for any symptoms of eating disorders, say researchers.

They may need extra support during and after pregnancy, a team from King’s College London and University College London reported in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

BBC News 3/8/2011

Read the full story here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14370824

Stem cell sperm study leads to successful mouse births

Fertility experts are hailing a mouse study in which working sperm cells were created from embryonic stem cells in mice as “hugely exciting”.

Japanese researchers successfully implanted early sperm cells, made from the stem cells, into infertile mice.

The working sperm which they made was then used to father healthy, and crucially fertile, pups, Cell journal reports.

A UK expert said it was a significant step forward in infertility research

Read the full story here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14404183

Clue to male infertility found

As many as a quarter of men have a genetic change which makes them less fertile than usual, research suggests.

The discovery could lead to a new screening test to identify those who will take longer to father a child, experts report in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The change is in a gene that codes for a key protein found on the outside of sperm.

Sperm lacking in the substance find it harder to swim to the egg.

Researchers believe a man with the altered gene can still get his partner pregnant, but this will take longer than usual.

Dr Edward Hollox of the University of Leicester is a co-author of the study.

We understand little about the subtle molecular events which occur in sperm as they make their journey through the woman’s body to fertilise an egg”

Dr Allan Pacey University of Sheffield

He told the BBC: “If you’ve got this gene variant you should allow that little bit longer if your partner’s planning to get pregnant.

“It takes two – it’s the genetic variation in a man that affects fertility in this particular case.”

Read the full story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14219907

Fertility World / April 15th & 16th 2011 / London Olympia

       

Fertility Road Magazine (Europe’s Number 1 Fertility Magazine) is excited to announce the “Fertility World Show in Association with Fertility Road” at London Olympia on April 15th & 16th 2011.

Fertility World ( www.Fertility-World.co.ukbe a section of this year’s Destination Health Show and dedicated to helping people on their path to parenthood.  Fertility World will cover a number of subjects in the “Fertility Road Seminar Theatre” including cross-border reproductive care, IVF, PCOS & ‘Expectant Management’ an overview of options for couples trying to conceive in the current climate of NHS cut backs.One in six couples now face infertility in the UK, and the problem is growing. Looking to start a family? Join us at Fertility World and visit the Fertility Road Seminar Theatre.

                

Fertility Road Magazine is aimed at helping women and men on their journey to parenthood. The Magazine provides not only information on the latest treatments and drugs to help people conceive, but natural conception options as well, such as healthy eating and fantastic places to conceive written by Doctors and Industry specialists. Other features include book reviews, cooking to conceive with Dr. Marilyn Glenville, Zita West (Pregnancy Author) is our “Expert Witness” answering your questions, alternative options, celebrity births, success stories, as well as a cutting edge science section.  

For more information please visit FertilityRoad or contact us at info@FertilityRoad.com 

Information about possible birth defect risks from assisted reproductive techniques; scare tactics or essential disclosure?

There was a report in The Sunday Times yesterday that Prof Lisa Jardine, of the government’s regulatory body the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), is to recommend that fertility clinics warn prospective patients of the risk of birth defects associated with IVF, ICSI, twin pregnancies conceived using assisted reproduction and embryo screening. What does that mean for you, if you are in the midst of or have already availed yourself of one or more of these treatments?

We have heard this before – The first thing you should know is that this is not strictly new news. Eleven months ago, the Daily Mail carried an article stating that “IVF children have higher risk of infertility, obesity and diabetes.” In June of last year, it was reported by the HFEA that a study in France showed that there is a small increase in risks of congenital abnormalities in children born as a result of IVF or ICSI. More recently, The British Medical Journal has recently published information from a study that shows women who have one embryo transferred during IVF treatment are five times more likely to give birth to a healthy baby than those who receive two embryos.  This is not meant to frighten you further, but to show that there are reports in the news all the time and they need to be read carefully and validated.

Risks associated with assisted reproductive techniques – The next thing is to be aware that the HFEA is merely saying that there is a greater risk of health problems associated with assisted reproduction, but not definitively how much greater the risk is. Their intention is merely to be as open as possible with women about any risk before they give consent to starting an assisted reproductive procedure. I am absolutely in favour of that, as the process in which individual women, or couples, go through should be one of fully informed decision-making. What I want, however, is enough specificity to help people understand the results of the studies, as well as a user-friendly explanation of how likely it is that those conditions may affect the health of their child. The Sunday Times article only alludes to possible side effects of IVF and other fertility methods, but gives no statistics. The list of potential health problems in children born of assisted reproductive techniques (A.R.T.), including:

·        heart defects, cleft lip and neurological flaws;

·        low birth weight;

·        cerebral palsy;

·        cancer of the retina;

·        undescended testicles in boys born of IVF; and

·        Infertility in children born as a result of ICSI, a procedure in which a sperm is artificially inserted into an egg.

Risks associated with embryo screening – Additionally, the HFEA wants patients who choose to have their embryos screened for genetic defects before implantation, to be informed of “potential high risk of neurodegenerative disorders,” or brain disorders in their children.  Apparently, embryo screening which uses one cell rather than two cells is of less danger.  It’s important to note that “before issuing new guidelines, the HFEA is to carry out a further review of scientific papers on the health outcomes of assisted reproductive technology children.” That means that no guidelines have been issued yet and that fertility clinics are not yet required to provide this type of information.  Most people who have IVF will not feel the need for embryo screening as a matter of course. I assume that a fertility specialist would recommend the procedure only in such cases as when a genetic condition has already been identified as a possibile outcome. Consequently, the risk of the screening may be offset by the risk of the suspected defect which could already present. Still, I believe that this information should be included with all of the factors relevant to the patient’s decision-making, as it may make a difference to the type of screening undertaken.

What should you do? By all means, you should feel free to ask your medical practitioner for an explanation of these risks. It is worth mentioning that even if the risks of birth defects are somewhat higher in assisted reproductive births than in naturally conceived births, the incidence will still be relatively low. A good analogy might be the risk associated with amniocentesis. There may be a higher risk of miscarriage in pregnancies in which amniocentesis is performed, however, the risk is still less only about 1% of pregnancies in which the miscarriage will actually occur as a result of the procedure. The patient and her partner are the only ones who can decide whether the risk is a reasonable and acceptable one, given the context in which they are operating.

Weighing and balancing – If you cannot conceive naturally, you must decide whether a greater risk of birth defects in A.R.T. births is acceptable to you, relative to your desire to have a baby by any means. Weigh it against the chance that no birth defect will occur, but make sure to discuss how you would feel about having child with a condition like the ones listed above. I don’t have any overall statistics for you because they have not been issued yet, and may never be; you would have to take each study separately. The best way to make any sense of them is to restrict your exploration to those relating to the specific procedure  you will undergo.

Doing your own research – In order to fully explore these issues, you may want to do some of your own research, starting with the HFEA website, which has an excellent section for patient information. Then, if the information you discover leads to questions that you and your partner find difficult to resolve, you may want to talk to a fertility coach who can help you explore your values and priorities specific to your proposed fertility treatment. Just remember, the HFEA seeks to hold the fertility industry accountable, in line with public policy and to the patients that use it, for the protection of all concerned. While the media reports the findings of studies and government reviews of those studies in a way that sometimes makes them seem of greater or more immediate importance than they actually are, it is better to have that information available to us than to be kept in the dark.

Blog http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com   Follow me on Twitter.com/yourgreatlife

The big fertility issues on the BBC news in the last few months

High stress ‘delays pregnancy’

‘A scientific study has shown for the first time that high stress levels may delay pregnancy.

Oxford University experts measured stress hormones in women planning a baby naturally and found the most stressed had a reduced chance of becoming pregnant.

Relaxation might help some couples, but more research is needed, they say.’

Click on link to read the full article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10942956

‘New test to dramatically increase chance of IVF success’

A new screening technique to test embryos could dramatically increase the chances of having a baby from IVF.

The test allows for any chromosomal abnormalities, the biggest cause of early pregnancy loss, to be picked up in embryos before they are reimplanted.

The UK-based researchers expect the technique to double or triple current IVF success rates.

Trials of the technique are being lead by fertility specialists at CARE Fertility in Manchester.

Read the full article here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11696644

‘NHS North Yorkshire and York suspends IVF treatment’

22nd October 2010 BBC News North Yorkshire

An NHS trust is to suspend IVF procedures as part of cost-cutting measures to help address a projected annual £30m overspend.

NHS North Yorkshire and York said IVF procedures would be halted in the final quarter of this financial year.

The trust will also lose 60 management posts and reduce the amount of money paid to voluntary sector organisations in a bid to make “significant” savings.

An infertility support organisation has described the decision as “appalling”.

Read full story here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-11604034

‘Sperm donors ‘deserve greater recognition’

Men who donate sperm for IVF should possibly be reimbursed more than women who donate eggs, a leading fertility campaigner has suggested.

Laura Witjens, who chairs the UK’s National Gamete Donation Trust and has donated her own eggs, says most people are not aware of the “serious commitment” involved in sperm donation.

She argues it is wrong to see it as less worthy than egg donation. But fertility experts say donating eggs is invasive and carries greater risks.

Fertility clinics are not allowed to pay for eggs and sperm, but they can compensate donors up to £250 for loss of earnings plus expenses.

That limit is about to be reviewed by the fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, particularly for women, who have hormone treatment and an operation to take out the eggs.

The question of reimbursement is being debated at the Royal Society of Medicine later.

Read the full article here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11576513

NHS access to IVF ‘improves’

 Just read this article at BBC online. What really surprised me was the statistic that only 27% of NHS trusts offer 3 cycles. Talk about postcode lottery for IVF

Here is the link to the article-extract from article below

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8106828.stm

 

Over a quarter of local health bodies are offering the recommended three free cycles of fertility treatment to couples trying to have a child.

The Department of Health said 27% of English primary care trusts offer three cycles – up from just 5% in 2007.

Health minister Gillian Merron said the health service was making “excellent progress” in improving IVF access.

Patient groups welcomed the increase, but said there was still “a long way to go”.

Fertility research-biologist’s discovery could help solve infertility

Breaking fertility research news from USA

A biologist at Wichita State University has made a breakthrough discovery about human reproductive hormones that scientists say could give women worldwide new hope in solving fertility problems.

http://www.kansas.com/news/story/806670.html

Fertility News-Woman denied fertility treatment because husband has children

 Just been given this link below and read this alarming article at Telegraph.co.uk.

A woman has been denied fertility treatment on the NHS because her husband has children from a previous relationship.

Janine Macallister, 27, from Newport, in Shropshire, should be entitled to IVF treatment under national guidance but has been told by her local health service that she is not eligible.

Fertility charities fear that an increasing number of couples are experiencing similar discrimination due to the inconsistent approach of primary care trusts.

Click on link below to read full article online at Telegraph.co.uk

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5300410/Woman-denied-fertility-treatment-because-husband-has-children.html

‘Babies on Hold’ as recession bites

Just given this link on Twitter to an interesting story in USA about how recession is affecting couples trying to conceive there. Remember most health care in US is private

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090509.BABIES09ART1951/TPStory/National

‘The recession has hit young people hard. It’s forcing prospective parents to consider which should come first – their bank accounts or their biological clocks’