Dr. Ziegler collaborates on study published in prestigious medical journal

Dr. William Ziegler and Radhika Hombale-Gowda, a fourth-year medical student at Monmouth Medical Center, have collaborated on a paper that examines the role of endometrial receptivity array in patients during their first frozen embryo transfers.

Along with being selected to present their findings at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society, held in March 2020, Dr. Ziegler and Gowda are publishing their study in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the official publication of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Congratulations to Dr. Ziegler and Radhika Hombale-Gowda. You can read the article here: EVALUATING THE ROLE OF ENDOMETRIAL RECEPTIVITY ARRAY


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‘Everything your heart will need to hear’

Our patient Alexis posted her thoughts about her care at RSCNJ recently.

“I can’t say enough positive things about Dr. Martinez and the entire Lawrenceville staff. Anyone seeking a fertility doctor is filled with so many questions and worries. This man will just say everything your heart will need to hear and back it up with amazing service! It was an answered prayer that we met and worked with his staff. We are currently expecting baby no. 2 thanks to Dr. Martinez!”

Alexis, Congratulations! Thank you so much for your kind words. We really appreciate everyone who takes the time to share their experience with us. You can read more like this one at our web site.

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New test offers clarity for couples struggling to conceive

Infertility affects 10% to 15% of couples globally, and while often viewed as a women’s health problem, men contribute to around half of the cases. Now, a male fertility test based on Cornell University research could help predict which men might need treatment and which couples might have success with different forms of assisted reproduction.

“The ‘Cap-Score’ test is designed to provide information on the man’s fertility that they never had before,” said Dr. Alexander Travis, professor of reproductive biology at the Baker Institute for Animal Health and the test’s inventor. “Now the doctors can discuss these results with the couple, and help them choose the personalized treatment pathway that is right for them to try to get pregnant, including how to improve the man’s fertility.”

The research was published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online. Travis is senior author and co-founder of the company that developed the test.

Cap-Score quantifies the ability of sperm to undergo a process called “capacitation,” which enables the sperm to fertilize an egg. Only sperm that capacitate are capable of fertilizing. By contrast, traditional male fertility exams rely primarily on semen analysis, which counts sperm and assesses whether they swim and look normal.

Infertility and most male infertility cases remain unexplained due to a lack of diagnostic testing. The Cap-Score can now provide crucial missing information to help guide their choices, Travis said. “

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Levels of a fertility hormone detected in human hair

The prospect of a non-invasive test of ovarian reserve is a little closer following results from a study showing that measurement of a fertility hormone can be accurately taken from a sample of human hair.

Anti-Mullerian hormone, or AMH, has become a key marker in the assessment of how women may respond to fertility treatment. The hormone is produced by small cells surrounding each egg as it develops in the ovary, and AMH measurement has become an intrinsic marker in assessing how a patient will respond to ovarian stimulation for IVF — as a normal responder, poor responder (with few eggs) or over-responder (with many eggs and a risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, OHSS).

AMH is measured in a serum blood sample. The readings represent a measurement at a short moment in time and are relatively invasive to complete. Now, however, a new study presented at the online Annual Meeting of ESHRE has tested the quantification of AMH from human hair and found it to be a less invasive and a “more appropriate representation of hormone levels” than from an “acute” source like serum.

“Biologically relevant” AMH levels were successfully detected in the hair samples, with levels declining with patient age, as expected. As ovarian reserve declines with age, so do AMH levels. The AMH levels from hair strongly correlated with serum levels.

“So hair,” explain the authors, “is a medium that can accumulate biomarkers over several weeks, while serum is an acute matrix representing only current levels. While hormone levels in blood can fluctuate rapidly in response to stimuli, hormone levels measured in hair would represent an accumulation over several weeks. A measurement using a hair sample is more likely to reflect the average hormone levels in an individual.”

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Dr. Martinez is ‘warm, caring and realistic’

“I love Dr Martinez,” a patient of ours recently wrote in an online post.

“He has a great personality and is very warm and caring while at the same time being realistic with you—no false hope. Just the facts,” she continues. “I would highly recommend him and his practice of the Reproductive Science Center in Eatontown. Great staff too!”

Our thanks to her, and all those who post reviews of our care and services, which you can read on our web site.

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Does delaying IVF treatment affect success?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused delays in IVF treatment for some women, but a new study shows that women who had to wait up to six months for fertility treatment have similar rates of live births as those treated within three months.

Researchers at Cornell Medical College in New York used data from 1,790 women treated between 2012 and 2018. Women who started their IVF cycle between one and 90 days after their first clinic visit had the same live birth rate as women who started 91-180 days after. Delays of more than 180 days were not studied, and the study only included women on their first IVF cycle.

“These results are reassuring to patients who may feel anxious to begin their treatment and become frustrated when unexpected delays occur,” the researchers said. The study was published in Human Reproduction.

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New sperm selection technology may increase IVF success rates

Motile sperm are difficult to collect with a conventional cell sorter because they are vulnerable to physical damage. A research collaboration between Kumamoto and Kyoto Universities in Japan has developed a technique that uses a cell sorter with microfluidic chip technology to reduce cell damage and improve in vitro fertilization (IVF) rates.

This research may increase IVF rates to improve production of experimental animals and livestock, and could be used as a fertility treatment in human reproductive medicine.

It is important to select fertile sperm with good motility to obtain high IVF rates.

“We expect that our research can be used to increase the success rate of IVF in animals, and for fertility treatments in human reproductive medicine,” the researchers said.

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Women’s egg quality dependent on metabolic factors

Increasing the levels of a chemical found in all human cells could boost a woman’s fertility and help select the best eggs for IVF, according to University of Queensland, Australia, research.

In an in-depth study of the final steps of egg maturation, the quality of a woman’s eggs was found to be significantly dependent on the important metabolic coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+).

UQ Centre for Clinical Research scientist Professor Hayden Homer said NAD+ helps to ensure that eggs retain the bulk of their cellular building blocks as they mature. “NAD+ is a critical coenzyme found in every cell in your body, and it’s involved in hundreds of metabolic processes, but levels decline with age,” Homer said.

“Egg quality declines relatively early, from the age of 30 years onwards, making it increasingly difficult to get pregnant,” Homer added. “If we can maintain steady levels of NAD+ we may improve a woman’s chances of getting pregnant both naturally and through IVF. With technological advances, this work will bring us closer to being able to select the best eggs for IVF treatment and to improving egg quality.”

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Study finds protein that is essential for male fertility

Newly produced spermatozoa within the testis are not fully functional until they mature in the epididymis, a duct that helps to transport and store sperm. Male infertility may arise from lack of communication between the testis and the epididymis and new research has uncovered a mechanism of this communication.

Dr. Martin Matzuk at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Masahito Ikawa with Osaka University and their colleagues have discovered a novel testicular luminal protein, NELL2, that triggers in the epididymis a chain of events that matures the sperm and enables each one to be motile in females.

Elaborating on their study, Ikawa and Matzuk, both senior authors, said, “We discovered a complicated cascade of events in which disruption of any point in this lumicrine pathway causes a male to be infertile. Our findings have important translational implications for diagnostic and therapeutic research in male infertility and male contraceptive development. This unique transluminal communication pathway between tissues and organs likely functions elsewhere in our bodies.”

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New podcast discusses cancer and fertility preservation

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can speed up the natural decline in available eggs, thereby reducing or destroying the egg reserve. They can also harm reproductive organs, making pregnancy difficult or impossible. The risk of being infertile after cancer treatment depends upon the treatment, the woman’s fertility before treatment and her age.

Thankfully, there are proven methods to preserve fertility if undergoing cancer treatment. In our newest podcast, Dr. Alan Martinez discusses how.

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