Study shows that diet has rapid effects on sperm quality

Sperm are influenced by diet, and the effects arise rapidly. This is the conclusion of a study by researchers at Linköping University, in Sweden, in which healthy young men were fed a diet rich in sugar. The study, which has been published in PLOS Biology, gives new insight into the function of sperm, and may in the long term contribute to new diagnostic methods to measure sperm quality.

“We see that diet influences the motility of the sperm, and we can link the changes to specific molecules in them. Our study has revealed rapid effects that are noticeable after one to two weeks,” says Anita Öst, senior lecturer in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at Linköping University, and head of the study.

“The study shows that sperm motility can be changed in a short period, and seems to be closely coupled to diet. This has important clinical implications,” says Anita Öst.

The researchers also found that the small RNA fragments, which are linked to sperm motility, also changed. They are now planning to investigate whether there is a link between male fertility and the RNA fragments in sperm. They will also determine whether the RNA code can be used for new diagnostic methods to measure sperm quality during in vitro fertilization.

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New NJ law strengthens coverage for infertility treatment

In a major victory for everyone seeking fertility care, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation on Jan. 13, 2020, that will strengthen insurance coverage for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and other medically necessary treatments that impede their ability to have a family.

The law, part of a legislative package fighting New Jersey’s maternal and infant health crisis, was intended to strengthen the 2017 update to New Jersey’s IVF mandate. It applies to health insurance policies and contracts that are delivered, renewed, extended, or modified in the state by any hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, health service corporation, health maintenance organization or group health insurance policy with more than 50 people, as well as state and school employee’s health benefits commission.

This makes New Jersey the ninth state to pass a fertility preservation statute. The signing was hailed by leading fertility organizations, including RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

We at RSCNJ join them in saluting the state legislature and the Governor in their efforts to make fertility care easier and more affordable for patients in the state. Go to our website for more information about this historic law.

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Step toward ‘ink’ development for 3-D printing a bioprosthetic ovary

For the first time, scientists identified and mapped the location of structural proteins in a pig ovary. Ongoing development of an “ink” with these proteins will be used for 3-D printing an artificial (or bio-prosthetic) ovary that could be implanted and allow a woman to have a child. Findings were recently published in Scientific Reports.

“This is a huge step forward for girls who undergo fertility-damaging cancer treatments,” says senior author Monica Laronda, PhD, Director of Basic and Translational Research, Fertility & Hormone Preservation & Restoration Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Our goal is to use the ovarian structural proteins to engineer a biological scaffold capable of supporting a bank of potential eggs and hormone producing cells. Once implanted, the artificial ovary would respond to natural cues for ovulation, enabling pregnancy.”

In November 2019, Dr. Laronda, with three other collaborators, received a patent for creation of an artificial ovary. So far, she and colleagues have 3-D printed an artificial ovary that they implanted into a sterile mouse. The mouse was then able to become pregnant and had live pups. These groundbreaking results were published in 2017 in Nature Communications.

“The structural proteins from a pig ovary are the same type of proteins found in humans, giving us an abundant source for a more complex bio-ink for 3-D printing an ovary for human use,” says Dr. Laronda. “We are one step closer to restoring fertility and hormone production in young women who survive childhood cancer but enter early menopause as a late effect. There are still several steps to go and we are excited to test our new inks.”

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RSCNJ podcasts cover everything from Acupuncture to Zika

Have you listened to all the RadioMD “Fertility Talk” podcasts posted on our website? Over the past few years, we have produced podcasts on dozens of topics from A (acupuncture) to Z (Zika virus).

When you go to our website, you can search by provider or topic, or simply browse all the “Fertility Talk” podcasts.

Check them out!

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New podcast: Minimal stimulation IVF (Mini-stim IVF)

Minimal stimulation in-vitro fertilization, also called mini-stim IVF, is “kind of like a bridge between natural cycle in-vitro fertilization and the conventional cycles which people know about,” says Dr. William Ziegler, in our latest podcast.

Dr. Ziegler discusses minimal stimulation IVF in depth, including how the process works, who is a good candidate for the procedure and success rates.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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Fertility care: Where to begin in 2020

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to seek fertility treatment, your first decision is to choose a provider. Consider the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey.

Cutting-edge technology and treatment

RSCNJ combines a commitment to compassionate care with a cutting-edge fertility program. Our doctors are board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and are specialists in both male and female infertility. They are widely recognized for their expertise and success in assisted reproduction.

Individualized care for patients

We provide each one of our patients with individualized and attentive treatment. Most important, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent and we do not turn patients away, even if they do not have a good chance of conception. We believe that the most important quality an infertility clinic can offer is genuine concern and understanding for your and your spouse’s emotional needs through this stressful time.

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

We are ready to help you as you begin your journey in fertility care. You can learn more at our website, and call us for a free phone consultation.

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Dr. Ziegler ‘treats you like family’

A patient of ours posted these comments about her care at RSCNJ:

“Dr. Ziegler is very thorough and explains everything to you. He never makes you feel lost. He goes over every step and explains every detail. I was overwhelmed when I started IVF. He always made sure I understood and would write everything down. After my lap surgery he contacted me the next day to check in. I thought that was so nice. He treats you like you’re his family. He will give you his undivided attention. I would refer him and his practice to anyone who is looking to start a family. Hand downs he is the best.”

We thank her, and everyone who has written reviews of their treatment. Read more like this one on our web site.

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‘Michelle Obama effect’ sees more African American women seeking fertility treatment 1 year after ‘Becoming’

In former First Lady Michell Obama’s book, “Becoming,” she wrote about her infertility, “a revelation that has led to a “Michelle Obama effect” on the number of African American women exploring fertility treatment,” according to Good Morning America.

“There is a whole long list of celebrities who have shared something about their infertility but this was different,” said Barbara Collura, president and CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. “When Michelle Obama spoke out it was like earth-shattering. It was a very big deal,” she told GMA.

You can read more about this on Good Morning America’s web site.

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Dr. Ziegler ‘doesn’t give up’

A patient of ours recently had this to say about her treatment at RSCNJ:

“Dr. Ziegler is a wonderful physician who truly cares about his patients and provides you with the best care possible. He is well regarded in the industry and I appreciate that he doesn’t give up on his patients. No matter how hard the case, he will do what he can to help you! We have had a rocky road but he has been the one constant source of support throughout a process that not many understand or can help you through. Dr. Ziegler is honest and very up to date on the latest research and will give you the honest story on things.”

You always get the honest story at RSCNJ. Visit our web site for more reviews like this one.

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Researchers get a better look at human embryo implantation

A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in China has used single-cell sequencing to learn more about the human embryo during implantation in the uterus. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes sequencing thousands of human embryo cells from before, during and after implantation, and what they learned from it.

To learn more about what happens during the implantation process, the researchers fertilized 65 human eggs and allowed them to grow in an in vitro culture system. This allowed them to study thousands of cells before, during and after they started the implantation process.

The researchers suggest their work created a path towards better understanding the underlying basis of an array of pregnancy disorders, including recurrent implantation failure, unexplained sporadic and recurrent pregnancy loss and diseases of abnormal placentation.

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