Making dreams come true

A patient recently shared her praise for RSCNJ.

“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.”

We are grateful for all the patients who have posted about our services. You can read more like this on our web site.

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Study: Children of men who smoke have 50% less sperm

Studies have repeatedly linked maternal smoking during pregnancy with reduced sperm counts in male offspring. A research team at Lund University in Sweden has discovered that, independently of nicotine exposure from the mother, men whose fathers smoked at the time of pregnancy had half as many sperm as those with non-smoking fathers.

The study was conducted on 104 Swedish men aged between 17 and 20. Once the researchers had adjusted for the mother’s own exposure to nicotine, socioeconomic factors and the sons’ own smoking, men with fathers who smoked had a 41% lower sperm concentration and 51% fewer sperm than men with non-smoking fathers.

“I was very surprised that, regardless of the mother’s level of exposure to nicotine, the sperm count of the men whose fathers smoked was so much lower,” says Jonatan Axelsson, specialist physician in occupational and environmental medicine.

“We know there is a link between sperm count and chances of pregnancy, so that could affect the possibility for these men to have children in future. The father’s smoking is also linked to a shorter reproductive lifespan in daughters, so the notion that everything depends on whether the mother smokes or not doesn’t seem convincing. Future research could perhaps move us closer to a causal link,” Axelsson says.

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Research IDs proteins that impact both infertility and cancer

A team of Rutgers-led researchers has found three proteins that may play an important role in both female fertility and cancer biology. The unexpected complexity in how these proteins regulate one another does not occur in any other healthy cell type, said study senior author Karen Schindler, an associate professor who specializes in infertility research in the Department of Genetics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

This research, published in the journal Current Biology, could provide a way to diagnose and perhaps treat certain types of infertility that end in early miscarriage, said Schindler. “This work also impacts cancer biology research because we suspect that the inter-protein regulation that occurs in eggs also occurs in certain types of aggressive cancers. Therefore, the findings could be useful in thinking about precision medicine treatments for cancer patients.”

The next steps for reproductive biology include studying the genomes of infertile patients to see if mutations in their genes represent a significant percentage of the patient population with poor outcomes in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic, Schindler said. The next steps for cancer biology include carefully evaluating cancers that have all three proteins and finding ways to harness their interactive regulation into a cancer therapeutic.

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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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