Researchers identify protein essential for male fertility

Fertilization is the union of two cells: an egg and a sperm. Before the egg and the sperm fuse, an event known as the “acrosome reaction” needs to occur in the sperm. Now, a team from Osaka University in Japan has identified a protein called FER1L5 that is essential for sperm to undergo the acrosome reaction.

There is a cap-like vesicle structure called the acrosome over the front of the head of a sperm. As the sperm migrates in the female reproductive tract in mammals, the acrosome reaction occurs, which involves the release of molecules in the acrosome to facilitate fertilization. Although the acrosome reaction is essential for sperm to fertilize eggs, the mechanism that regulates the acrosome reaction remains unclear.

The research team examined six ferlin family proteins in both roundworms and mice. “Our results indicate that the function of ferlin proteins is well conserved from nematodes to mice, although their sperm look different,” explains senior author Masahito Ikawa. While this study was carried out on mice, FER1L5 protein is known to be present in human sperm. Further research resulting from this study may therefore lead to new treatments and diagnostic methods for male infertility in humans.

The article is published in Science Advances.

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Get emotional help during fertility care

Research shows that adding emotional support to your family-building journey helps your mental health. RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association was founded by a nurse experiencing infertility and saw the need to bring people together for emotional support. Nearly 50 years later, RESOLVE is still committed to providing free emotional support.

RESOLVE can help you find:

  • A support group.
  • A professional.
  • Online support communities.
  • Helpful resources and advice.

Go to the RESOLVE web site to find links to these resources.

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Insurance mandates critical for improving access to infertility care: study

State infertility insurance mandates are critical for improving access to infertility care. They also help to advance gender equality and reproductive rights.

These are some of the major findings of a literature review and critical assessment of in vitro fertilization (IVF) state mandates for third-party insurance coverage in the United States published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.

“Infertility is one of the most common medical conditions in America,” said first author Benjamin Peipert, MD, chief resident in ob/gyn at Duke University, noting that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) estimates that less than a quarter of infertile couples have sufficient access to infertility care.

New Jersey is one of just 20 states that mandates coverage for IVF. Learn more at this page on our web site and call us with any questions.

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Mapping endometriosis: A cellular atlas created

Investigators at Cedars-Sinai have created a unique and detailed molecular profile of endometriosis to help improve therapeutic options for the millions of women suffering from the disease. The study is published in the journal Nature Genetics.

“Endometriosis has been an understudied disease in part because of limited cellular data that has hindered the development of effective treatments. In this study we applied a new technology called single-cell genomics, which allowed us to profile the many different cell types contributing to the disease,” said Kate Lawrenson, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai, and co-senior and corresponding author of the study.

Endometriosis is a condition in which cells of the uterine lining, or ones similar to endometrial tissue, are found growing in the wrong places, most commonly on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and in the abdominal cavity. The disease impacts about 10% of women, usually during their reproductive years. Patients with the disorder can experience chronic pain, infertility, headaches, fatigue, and bowel and bladder dysfunction. Currently, there are few good treatment options for women diagnosed with endometriosis.

Lawrenson and her co-investigators were able to profile endometriosis using state-of-the-art methods permitting them to gather an immense amount of data from the cells of just 21 patients, some of whom had the gynecological disorder and others who were disease-free.

“We generated a cellular atlas of endometriosis after analyzing nearly 400,000 individual cells from these patients. We were able to identify the molecular differences between the major subtypes of endometriosis, including peritoneal disease and ovarian endometrioma,” said Lawrenson.

Investigators expect this critical new database will lead to improved care. “Identifying these cellular differences at such a detailed level should allow us to better understand the origins, natural progression, and potential therapeutic targets for treatment. We are currently limited to hormonal therapy and surgical excision, with variable success and frequent recurrence of disease,” said Matthew Siedhoff, MD, MSCR, vice chair of Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai and a co-author of the study.

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Another 5-star review

Our first online review of 2023 is in, and we’re proud to say it’s another 5 stars.

In fact, we have averaged 5 stars over almost 1,000 patient reviews.

Take a look at what our patients have to say about their care at RSCNJ. Schedule an appointment online if you like what you read.

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Call to address women’s reproductive needs holistically

Women’s reproductive needs should be considered holistically by considering pregnancy prevention and pregnancy preparation at the same time, finds a new study.

The research, published in The Lancet Public Health, brought together a variety of different types of evidence — including previous studies, new data on women’s preferences, and case studies of existing practice across the globe — to develop a model, which could be used to help design services in a way that better meets the needs of women and their partners.

Researchers found that, currently, health services only view women to either be pregnant or not pregnant, and do not consider their health in the in-between stage — before trying to conceive. This can have an important influence on both their chances of becoming pregnant and of having a healthy pregnancy as well as affect their own health in the short and long term.

Lead author Dr. Jenny Hall said: “The model proposed in this paper can be adapted and implemented across a range of primary care settings, including general practice and sexual and reproductive health services, with appropriate training for health professionals. Doing so will bridge the gap between contraception and antenatal services, providing services in a way that better meets women’s needs as they move through their reproductive life course.”

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Help us support new fertility bill

Another important family building bill has been introduced in Congress: The Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Act (CCSA), championed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier.

This cancer care bill includes Medicaid coverage for fertility preservation for individuals undergoing treatment for cancer that may lead to iatrogenic (or medically induced) infertility.

The “Right to Build Families Act of 2022” will:

  • Prohibit states from limiting any individual’s right to access ART.
  • Prohibit states from regulating reproductive genetic materials, including gametes.
  • Protect healthcare providers who provide ART or related counseling.
  • Allow the Department of Justice to pursue civil action against states that violate the legislation.
  • Allow the U.S. Attorney General, individuals, and healthcare providers to pursue civil action regarding violation of the legislation.

We need your help! Please personalize and send a message to your Members of Congress. Ask them to support this important pro-family legislation that will help millions of cancer patients preserve their fertility and give them a future chance at parenthood.

Thank you for your support.

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Warning: Cute babies ahead!

As fertility specialists, our ultimate goal is to help you reach yours: having a baby.

When we help our patients achieve their goal, we love to celebrate their success.

Check out our updated online baby photo album page for some of the new faces brought into the world via infertility treatments at RSC New Jersey!

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Sexual dysfunction and infertility

Sexual dysfunction is an issue that prevents an individual from enjoying or wanting to have sex, which is most often related to sexual desire, arousal, orgasm or pain during intercourse. Any of these conditions can prevent effective resolution of sexual activity that might result in conception.

Sexual dysfunction is common and can occur in people of all ages, affecting as many as 30% of men and 40% of women, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. It is even more common for couples dealing with infertility, as treatments such as IVF can bring on psychological and physical demands that trigger dysfunction.

Many factors can influence sexual dysfunction, including:

  • Stress.
  • History of sexual trauma.
  • Psychological issues.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hormonal factors.
  • Certain medications.
  • Vascular factors (issues affecting blood vessels).

Learn more at our web page on sexual dysfunction and infertility.

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To new patients: Compassionate care with a boutique experience

RSCNJ seeks to meet the special needs of each couple experiencing fertility problems. We make our patients feel like guests in our home, and the entire RSC staff takes part in their emotional journey. We will go to any extent to answer your questions, allay all fears, share with you the joys and disappointments of the infertility process and help identify the best treatment to help you get pregnant and have a baby.

We pride ourselves in offering a unique fertility experience, one that our patients appreciate and trust. Our treatments and techniques are the most advanced. And the depth of our staff’s experience ensures the customized care that brings the best results. Our financing options help make care as affordable as possible. And we provide convenience through services like telehealth.

Our experienced staff members fully understand the difficult emotional and medical challenges that confront infertility patients. They strive to make patients feel calm, comfortable and confident throughout their course of treatment.

You can learn more at our updated page for our new fertility patients.

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