Two cheers for our doctors and staff

Two patients of ours recently shared their thoughts about the care they received at RSCNJ.

“Dr. Mensah was wonderful. Very friendly and explained everything so we could understand. Everyone in the office made each visit easier and they are there for you for everything.”

“Dr. Martinez and his staff are caring and professional. I would recommend anyone who is having trouble having a baby to go to them. They are the best.”

We thank them for taking the time to post these kind words about our care. You can read more reviews like this on our web site.

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Is climate change a threat to male fertility?

Yes, according to new research from the University of East Anglia, UK. New findings published in the journal Nature Communications reveal that heatwaves damage sperm in insects, with negative impacts for fertility across generations.

The research team says that male infertility during heatwaves could help to explain why climate change is having such an impact on species populations, including climate-related extinctions in recent years. It may also affect humans.

Research group leader Prof. Matt Gage said, “We know that biodiversity is suffering under climate change, but the specific causes and sensitivities are hard to pin down. We’ve shown in this work that sperm function is an especially sensitive trait when the environment heats up.”

The research team investigated the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) to explore the effects of simulated heatwaves on male reproduction. The team found that heatwaves halved the amount of offspring males could produce, and a second heatwave almost sterilized the males. Females, by contrast, were unaffected by heatwave conditions. However, female reproduction was affected indirectly because experiments showed that heatwaves damaged inseminated sperm within female reproductive tracts.

“Beetles are thought to constitute a quarter of biodiversity, so these results are very important for understanding how species react to climate change. Research has also shown that heat shock can damage male reproduction in warm blooded animals too, and past work has shown that this leads to infertility in mammals,” said Kirs Sales, a postgraduate researcher who led the research.

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Making dreams come true

“We are so pleased with the way this center has taken care of us. They have made our dreams come true in the best way possible. We will be forever grateful for the gift of life they’ve given us. Thank you to all of the doctors and nurses for their continued support.”

And we are pleased for this couple, and thankful that they took the time to post kind words about our care. You can read more reviews like this on our web site.

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When should you see a fertility specialist?

It can be difficult for couples to determine if they are really facing infertility, or if they are experiencing a normal timeframe for achieving pregnancy. That can make it hard to know when to seek professional help.

If a man, woman or couple is in either of the following two situations, they should see a fertility specialist:

  1. You have been unable to become pregnant within 12 months of unprotected sex by couples in which the woman is younger than 35 years old and has no major medical problems.
  2. For couples in which the woman is over 35, you have been unable to become pregnant after six months of unprotected sex.

It is also advised that couples see a fertility specialist if:

  • Either partner has a history of STDs (specifically chlamydia or gonorrhea).
  • A woman has irregular or no menstruation.
  • A woman has a history of pelvic infections or previous abdominal surgeries.
  • A woman has severe pain during menstruation (which may be a symptom of endometriosis).
  • A woman has a history of three or more miscarriages.
  • A man has sexual problems, including difficulty with erection and/or ejaculation.
  • A man has had an abnormal semen analysis.

For tips on how to choose the right fertility specialist for you, please visit our web page.

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RESOLVE offers tips for surviving the holidays

“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.”

This comes from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. The organization also says that, by planning ahead and recognizing that holidays may be uncomfortable, you can prepare yourself and make getting through them a bit easier.

RESOLVE offers several Dos and Don’ts, such as:

  • DO: Be selective about accepting invitations to parties and holiday celebrations, especially the ones at which you know there will be a lot of children or pregnant women. Remember: you don’t have to say yes.
  • DON’T: Feel guilty about not participating in all the traditional family events. You’re going through a difficult time, and you need to concentrate on helping yourself and your partner get through the holidays.

Other tips cover visiting family and friends, handling celebrations and sharing your feelings. Be sure to read these if the holiday season adds stress to your fertility situation.

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Article: ‘The Significance of Michelle Obama’s Fertility Story’

“The cultural stereotype of an IVF patient is an older white woman, even though black women are almost twice as likely to struggle with infertility,” says a recent article in The Atlantic. In Michelle Obama’s new memoir, she reveals that both her daughters were born thanks to IVF treatment. Obama told her story to ABC News’s Robin Roberts: “I felt like I failed,” Obama told Roberts. “Because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were. Because we don’t talk about them.”

The article discusses the importance of Obama’s story for the African American community. You can read it on The Atlantic website.

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Comfort from first appointment to ‘graduation day’

A patient of ours recently celebrated the birth of her child and took the time to post this note.

“We had such a wonderful experience at The Reproductive Science Center. Dr. Mensah is caring, compassionate, and extremely knowledgeable, making us comfortable from our first appointment until our ‘graduation’ day. We cannot thank the staff and doctors enough from RSC for all of their kindness and help in achieving our dream of starting a family!”

Thanks to this happy couple, and congratulations! More reviews like this one can be found on our web site.

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RESOLVE urges you to take action

Barbara Collura, President/CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, asks everyone to fight for greater infertility care coverage in New Jersey. She writes:

New Jersey has an unprecedented opportunity to help cancer patients and others whose medical treatment may cause infertility.

Senate Bill 2133 and House Bill 3150 would require insurers to cover fertility preservation for patients facing chemotherapy or other medically necessary treatment that may render them infertile.

Please urge your State Leadership to support access to fertility preservation for cancer patients. New Jersey already provides coverage for infertility treatment for those diagnosed with infertility and needs to close the gap in insurance coverage for those at risk of medically-induced infertility.

It takes just minutes to send this letter so that residents of New Jersey do not have to choose between effective medical treatment and a future chance at parenthood.

Thank you for taking action!

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Scientists create ‘digital roadmap’ to unlock male infertility

Millions of couples who have trouble conceiving may get relief from new research led by scientists at The University of Texas at San Antonio. The researchers have developed a high-resolution genetic map showing how men produce sperm cells. Their effort could help address genetically based challenges with male fertility, a major cause of conception problems.

The researchers’ findings reveal detailed information about which genes are turned on or off in stem cells that ultimately grow into sperm cells. This data could give doctors crucial insight into the development of sperm in a patient, a perspective that was lacking up until now.

UTSA researcher Brian Hermann says the new knowledge could be a game changer for uncovering what can go wrong in men who suffer from infertility. “We took a new, cutting-edge approach down to the level of individual cells to understand all the changes in which genes are used to make sperm in the testicles. That previously had not been possible and impedes progress toward a cure for male infertility,” said Hermann, a biology professor and director of the UTSA Genomics Core.

The findings appear in the scientific journal, Cell Reports. Professors Hermann and John R. McCarrey led the group, which included researchers at UTSA and across the country.

Together, the team built a comprehensive digital library of the cell types required for sperm production in mice and men. They examined more than 62,000 cells and identified 11 different gene expression profiles; their work even uncovered rare and new cells for which little data was previously reported.

UTSA’s new digital gene expression library could help improve clinical diagnoses in men with infertility because their gene expression “signatures” will be different than those in the normal men now described in this new database. The UTSA resource can also provide a foundation to help innovate the next generation of male contraception and to even potentially develop sperm outside the body.

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‘Thanks for making me a mommy!’

“Words can’t describe how much I love this practice. Absolutely life changing. There’s nothing better than having such a strong supportive group of people behind you during such a hard time. Love you guys! Thanks for making me a mommy!”

We’d like to thank this patient for posting such a warm and kind review. You can read more like this on our web site.

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