“Everyone is helpful, encouraging and friendly”

“Such an amazing staff. From the moment I walk into the office until the time I leave, everyone is helpful, encouraging and friendly. Dr. Mensah is a dream come true. She is so warm and optimistic. She will sit with you and talk you through all of your questions and insecurities. She always kept me calm and helped make the difficult times easier. I would absolutely tell everyone and anyone what an amazing atmosphere that is created by everyone working here. I can only thank them from the bottom of my heart for the miracles they are performing every day.”

Thank you to the patient who posted this kind review. You can read more like this one at our web site.

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Can antioxidant supplements improve sperm quality?

It appears not. Despite many study results suggesting that antioxidants have a positive effect on abnormal sperm parameters associated with male infertility, a large US clinical trial of 174 couples has found that an antioxidant formulation taken daily by the male partner for a minimum of three months made no difference to sperm concentration, motility or morphology, nor to the rate of DNA fragmentation.

Results of the study, which was performed in eight American fertility centers with the support of the National Institutes of Health, were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology by Professor Anne Steiner from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

All men in the study had been diagnosed with male factor infertility. The men allocated to the antioxidant intervention were given a daily supplement (in tablet form) containing vitamins C, D3 and E, folic acid, zinc, selenium and L-carnitine; the control group received a placebo.

At three months, results showed only a “slight” overall difference in sperm concentration between the two groups, and no significant differences in morphology, motility or DNA fragmentation measurements. A further measure of the trial was natural conception during the initial three-month study period, but this too did not differ between the two groups—a pregnancy rate of 10.5% in the antioxidant group and 9.1% in the placebo. These rates were also comparable at six months.

The authors explain that many of the previous studies in which antioxidants have been linked to improvements in sperm quality have been limited by small numbers, heterogeneity in patients, variety of antioxidant, and other flaws. This study was designed to close these gaps in knowledge and provide a stronger evidence base.

Based on these findings, Steiner and her colleagues now conclude that “the results do not support the empiric use of antioxidant therapy for male factor infertility in couples trying to conceive naturally.”

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Worldwide IVF births top 8 million

How far has assisted reproduction come since Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby, was born in 1977? An international committee monitoring progress in assisted reproduction reported recently that the global total of babies born as a result of IVF and other advanced fertility treatments over the past 40 years is “more than 8 million.”

Dr. David Adamson, speaking at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on behalf of the International Committee for Monitoring ART (ICMART) said: “Based on ICMART’s annual collection of global IVF data, it is estimated that since Louise Brown’s birth in 1978 over 8 million babies have been born from IVF around the world.”

The figure, calculated from data collected from regional registries from 1991 to 2014, represent another steep rise in the cumulative use of IVF in the treatment of infertility. Estimates are that more than a half million babies are now born each year from IVF and ICSI from more than 2 million treatment cycles performed.

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Happy results!

A patient of ours tells us:

“We are sad to leave … But we are leaving with a positive result—8 weeks pregnant. Domenica is also a great addition to the staff. She is very responsive to calls and emails. Thank you for all your help. We are truly grateful. We highly recommend you, your staff and your facility.”

We are sad to see them go as well, but thrilled about their pregnancy. Read more happy stories like this on our web site.

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Have you met our staff?

RSCNJ is fortunate to have many highly skilled professionals working to help our patients conceive. For example:

Scott Kratka, Embryology Lab Director (ELD), Technical Supervisor, American Board of Bioanalysis (TS/ABB). Scott has been at the forefront in reproductive medicine since 1988. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, he completed embryology training at the University of Connecticut Medical Center. There he participated in published research studies involving adhesion formation and prevention. He also assisted with instructional laser surgical training courses in Connecticut and Puerto Rico.

Mina Alikani, PhD. Mina is currently the Director of the Embryology and Andrology Laboratories at the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey. She is certified by the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB) as a High Complexity Laboratory Director and by the American College of Embryology (now EMBCOL) as a Reproductive Embryologist.

Learn more about them, and the rest of our staff, at our web site.

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Eating nuts can improve male fertility, study finds

The inclusion of nuts in a regular diet significantly improves the quality and function of human sperm, according to results of a randomized trial. The findings, say the investigators, “support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality.”

The study, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, was performed against a background of general decline in quantity and quality of human sperm, attributed in industrialized countries to “pollution, smoking and trends toward a western-style diet,” the authors said.

The study was a 14-week trial in which 119 healthy young men aged 18-35 were allocated to either their usual western-style diet supplemented with 60 grams a day of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, or their usual western-style diet without nuts. Results found significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology in the men in the 60 g/day nut diet than in those following their usual diets free of nuts. Improvements in the former group were by around 16% in sperm count, 4% in sperm vitality, 6% in sperm motility, and 1% in morphology. These four parameters are all associated with male fertility.

Moreover, the subjects in the nut group also showed a significant reduction in their levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, a parameter closely associated with male infertility. Indeed, it was this change in the level of DNA fragmentation in the sperm cells by which the investigators explained, at least in part, the improvement in sperm count, motility and morphology.

These findings were consistent with improvements found in other recent studies with diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc) and folate. Nuts are dense foods containing many of these nutrients and other phytochemicals.

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Have you met our providers?

Our infertility specialists are experts in both male and female infertility. They are widely recognized for their expertise and success in assisted reproduction. Our experienced staff fully understands 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.

Visit our provider web page to learn about our providers and his or her individual training and expertise.

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Have you seen the RSCNJ Patient Portal?

Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey is committed to enhancing patients’ experience by providing easily accessible and meaningful information. One way we do that is through our patient portal.

Our patient portal is a secure and convenient way to receive messages, lab results, documents, medical reports, reminders and news regarding your fertility journey. You can access your profile from any device and stay up-to-date with your patient information.

Learn more at our patient portal web page.

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Walking helps women who experience pregnancy loss get pregnant

A recent study to better understand modifiable factors that may affect a woman’s ability to conceive a child suggest that walking may help women with a history of pregnancy loss improve their chances of becoming pregnant.

The study of healthy women ages 18 to 40 years old with a history of one or two pregnancy losses was conducted by researchers in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It was published in Human Reproduction.

For the 1,214 women in the study, the association of walking with the ability to become pregnant, known as fecundability, varied significantly by body mass index, the authors report. Among overweight/obese women, walking at least 10 minutes at a time was associated with improvement in fecundability. Further, in statistically adjusted models, women reporting more than four hours a week of vigorous activity had significantly higher pregnancy chances compared to no vigorous activity.

Moderate activity, sitting and other activity categories were not associated with fecundability overall or in BMI-stratified analyses, they add.

The researchers conclude that “these findings provide positive evidence for the benefits of physical activity in women attempting pregnancy, especially for walking among those with higher BMI.”

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Want to stay up to date on the latest news and information about RSCNJ and fertility care? Then why not sign up to receive our free e-newsletter?

You will receive the newsletter by email once a month. The email links you to the latest postings on our blog.

To sign up for the free e-newsletter, and to see our archives of past newsletters, please go to our web page.

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