Meet Dr. Alan Martinez of RSCNJ

Dr. Alan Martinez is a specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility with expertise in hysteroscopic and advanced laparoscopic surgery. Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Martinez is committed to caring for a diverse patient population. His clinical interests include infertility, PCOS, in vitro fertilization, oocyte and embryo freezing, and third-party reproduction.

Dr. Martinez is a passionate and committed physician who provides comprehensive medical treatment in a caring, individualized fashion. He always strives to treat patients like family and assist them in understanding their treatment plan in its entirety.

Read more about Dr. Martinez and listen to an audio interview here.

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Meet Dr. William Ziegler of RSCNJ

Dr. William Ziegler is a board certified specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and is the Medical Director of the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey. He started the first egg donor program based in Monmouth and Ocean counties, offering some of the highest success rates in New Jersey.

Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Ziegler serves the community of Monmouth and Ocean County. Dr. Ziegler is dedicated to providing his patients with the highest quality medical treatment in a caring and compassionate environment.

Read more about Dr. Ziegler and listen to an audio interview here.

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What are Assisted Reproductive Technologies?

Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are used when an infertile couple cannot be treated using simpler methods or when all other methods have failed. These procedures have excellent success rates but require a significant amount of time, effort, and, in some cases, money.

Our team at RSCNJ helps to minimize these added pressures by explaining each process fully and answering all of your questions so that you understand exactly what is required of you for these types of therapies to be successful.

Over the past decade, our knowledge and technological advances have increased the number of procedures designed to assist infertile couples in achieving pregnancy. The original and most often used infertility therapy is in vitro fertilization (IVF), which, along with other techniques, has substantially increased the likelihood of couples having babies.

The Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey offers all of the assisted reproductive technologies available worldwide. Learn more about them at our web site.

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‘I am more than my procreative capacity’

“It’s a common feeling that many of us have when we get older. You think you know the life you’re going to have – and then your body tells a different story,” says author N. Moss West.

In her memoir “Flesh & Blood: Reflections on Infertility, Family, and Creating a Bountiful Life,” West shares her experiences with pregnancy loss and the public and private grief of infertility.

Salon spoke to her recently about why she thinks unsolicited advice is “an act of aggression” and how the real story of her book is “about love.” Read the interview at Salon.com.

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Ovarian transplant technique extends fertility in cancer patients

Many cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, can irreparably harm reproductive organs, leaving patients who hope to conceive a child after treatment with few options. Some can preserve their eggs or embryos, but those procedures are not available to everyone and not possible with certain cancers.

Kutluk Oktay, professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences and director of Yale’s Laboratory of Molecular Reproduction and Fertility Preservation, has been developing another option for those looking to preserve fertility. In 1999, he created the first ovarian transplant technique using cryopreserved tissue.

The procedure, known as ACOTT (autologous cryopreserved ovarian tissue transplantation), has continued to evolve. In a new study, published in Fertility and Sterility, Oktay and his research team report on improvements that can extend fertility and offer more flexibility for those who want to conceive children after cancer treatment.

The new method, called robot-assisted ACOTT, or RA-ACOTT, incorporates changes to the surgical procedure, a new way of handling the preserved ovarian tissue, and a pharmacological component. For the seven women who participated in the study, the improved approach led to at least four years of ovarian function on average, which is 14 to 18 months longer than was possible with the earlier technique. And at the time of publication, four of the women had attempted pregnancy, all of them successfully, resulting in six births.

In an interview with Yale News, Oktay discusses this new approach, what it means for people undergoing cancer treatment, and his plans for the method going forward. You can read it here.

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Coping with holiday stress and fertility

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, understands that “Holidays can be stressful, even in the best of circumstances. Expectations are at a peak. Pressure comes, both from the outside and within, to break out of the normal routine – to celebrate, and to enjoy! But for the person experiencing infertility, holidays can add additional emotional stress to an already complicated situation.”

With Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season approaching, it’s important for those struggling with infertility to know they are not alone in dealing with this stress. “You certainly can’t make the pain of infertility disappear miraculously. But by planning in advance and acknowledging that holidays may be uncomfortable; you can prepare yourself and improve your chances of getting through them,” RESOLVE says.

You can find their Tips for Handling Holiday Stress here. And for information on counseling services available to you, visit our web site or call us for advice.

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Updated podcast: Dr. Martinez talks about the Covid vaccine and pregnancy

Information is rapidly growing about the Covid-19 vaccine and how it relates to women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant. Given this new knowledge, Dr. Alan Martinez has updated his earlier podcast discussion of the Covid vaccine and pregnancy, including current recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and answers questions about the Delta variant.

Listen to his updated thoughts here.

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Study: Sperm switch swimming patterns to locate egg

A new study from Cornell University reveals how sperm change their swimming patterns to navigate to the egg, shifting from a symmetrical motion that moves the sperm in a straight path to an asymmetrical one that promotes more circular swimming.

This change in behavior, called hyperactivation, enables the sperm to sweep the area once in the egg’s proximity, which improves the sperm’s chances of finding it.

By exposing the mechanisms involved, the study not only unravels a mystery of how the sperm navigates to the egg, but it also has implications for human in-vitro fertilization.

“By understanding what determines the navigational mechanism and the biophysical and biochemical cues for a sperm to get to the egg, we may be able to use those cues to treat couples with infertility issues and select the best strategy for in vitro fertilization,” said Alireza Abbaspourrad, the paper’s senior author.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, clarifies how millions of sperm travel through the female mammal’s reproductive tract, with only a handful eventually reaching the fertilization site. The sperm stay close to the side walls and swim in a straight line against a small amount of fluid that flows from the upper to lower part of the reproductive tract.

But once sperm reach the uterine junctional zone, enter the fallopian tubes and move towards the egg, an influx of calcium ions into their flagellum triggers hyperactivation and circular swimming. Without this shift, sperm could run into dead ends where they get stuck.

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AMA: COVID-19 vaccines don’t affect fertility

The evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines are highly safe and effective at reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalizations and death, according to an American Medical Association-produced column that dispels misinformation and has been posted by news outlets around the country.

“With high levels of community spread of COVID-19, we’re once again fighting a two-front war: against the virus and against rampant misinformation,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, in the column, “COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Busted,” that appeared in several media outlets.

The column debunks six pervasive anti-vaccine myths that have been widely circulated and have contributed to hesitancy that has left over 30% of eligible Americans unvaccinated. Among the myths busted are inaccurate statements on the vaccines’ impact on fertility and pregnancy.

“Risks to fertility or the ability to become pregnant after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were disproven through clinical trials and real-world data points,” says the AMA column. “Moreover, COVID-19 itself carries significant risks for pregnant women, including higher risks of preterm labor and stillbirth, and higher risks of hypertension and pneumonia for pregnant women.”

You can read more at the AMA web site.

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RSCNJ ‘felt like family’

Our patient Danielle shares her thoughts on her care at RSCNJ:

“I am so thankful for Dr. Martinez, Marianela, and the RSCNJ staff. They took such good care of me and felt more like family and friends than healthcare providers throughout my time with them. I was so scared of going through IVF after IUI’s didn’t work for me, but they made every step of the process so easy. Dr. Martinez was amazing, and told us we would get pregnant and it was just a matter of how and when, and now I am almost 10 weeks pregnant with my baby girl. Can’t recommend him and this practice enough — he is an incredible doctor who really cares about his patients.”

We are thankful to Danielle, and to all our patients who posted testimonials about their time with us.

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