2 reviews, 5 stars

Two patients have high praise for Dr. Martinez and the RSCNJ team:

“Cannot recommend Dr. Martinez enough!!! He’s an incredibly knowledgeable doctor with compassion and understanding. His staff is ALWAYS helpful, accommodating, and kind.”

“I cannot say enough about Dr. Martinez. I went through so much pain and disappointment of infertility, even with another facility. I was about to lose all hope when Dr. Martinez’s office was recommended. My prayers were answered. One FET and I was successfully pregnant. 5 stars, would recommend to anyone. Nursing staff always available to answer calls and emails as well.”

Thanks to them, and to all our patients who posted reviews. Read more like these at our web site.

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‘Absolutely no evidence’ COVID vaccines affect fertility

There is “absolutely no evidence” that COVID-19 vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men, says new expert guidance.

The guidance, published by the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists and the British Fertility Society, comes amid concerns that misinformation that has been circulating online about COVID-19 vaccines and fertility may be putting some women off having the vaccine.

The guidance refutes any link between the vaccines and fertility. “There is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men,” it says. People of reproductive age should get a COVID-19 vaccine when they receive their invitation, including people who are trying to have a baby or thinking about having a baby in the future, the guidance says.

People undergoing fertility treatment can be vaccinated during treatment, but may wish to consider the timing given the potential side effects in the few days after vaccination. “It may be sensible to separate the date of vaccination by a few days from some treatment procedures (for example, egg collection in IVF), so that any symptoms, such as fever, might be attributed correctly to the vaccine or the treatment procedure,” says the guidance.

People may start their fertility treatment immediately after being vaccinated, unless they wish to have a second dose before pregnancy, it adds. The guidance also states that those who are donating their eggs or sperm for the use of others can still have a COVID-19 vaccine.

You can read the full report at BMJ.com.

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Men’s fertility awareness understudied

Across medical and social sciences, the reasons men choose to have children and their understanding of fertility awareness have been seriously understudied. Swedish researcher Maja Bodin wants to address the issue in her research paper, “A wonderful experience or a frightening commitment? An exploration of men’s reasons to (not) have children.”

Her findings were part of a wider study into fertility awareness which included an opportunity for men to talk about fertility with a midwife. It included two open-ended questions: why you would want to have children, and why would you not want to have children?

Some men had a vision about parenthood and family life and looked forward to the experience. They longed for children and thought it would be joyful and that having children is the meaning of life; they described children as cute, funny, nice. Others didn’t particularly like children and thought they were annoying or difficult to handle. They also felt they were not up for the task or did not see themselves as the “daddy type.”

“One of the most common reasons to want children was to pass something on to the next generation, either genes or social heritage, traditions and values — they wanted to see a small version of themselves,” Bodin said. “Others did not want to pass on their genes because they had some disease, or referred to overpopulation, climate change, and the future looks bleak. Some thought it would lead to personal development: that they would learn, and the experience would enrich their lives. Others had the opposite view that it would mean they could not do what they wanted.”

She added, “Most studies just assume that people want children, and if asked whether you do or do not, it’s just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ answer. They stop there, they do not ask why. There are studies showing that many people just go with the flow, especially men. They haven’t really thought so much about why they want children. But I am questioning whether this is true, I think that they just never got the question.”

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‘Dr. Ziegler and his staff went above and beyond’

Our patient Kelly writes:

“Long three-year road of fertility issues. Dr. Ziegler and his staff went above and beyond. They took time out to explain everything needed. Finally expecting and due August 2021. Even during the pandemic they handled appointments and visit for bloodwork amazing. Thank you all. Can’t wait to visit with our bundle of joy.”

We can’t wait either, Kelly. Thanks to her for writing, and to all our patient reviewers. You can read them at our web site.

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RESOLVE offers virtual peer-led support groups

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is offering monthly virtual peer-led support groups in two time zones, hosted by experienced volunteers and open to anyone struggling to build a family, regardless of location.

Some local groups are also meeting virtually since they cannot meet in person during the COVID-19 crisis.

Meetings will be held via Zoom with breakout rooms for 10 people per meeting, allowing up to 70 registrants per evening; registration will close the evening before the meeting date or when maximum capacity is reached, whichever comes first.

To learn more, and to register for upcoming meetings, visit the RESOLVE web site.

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Sperm quality improves after adding nuts to diet, study finds

Many environmental and lifestyle factors have been implicated in the decline of sperm quality, with diet being one of the most plausible factors identified in recent years. Moreover, several studies have reported a close association between the alteration of specific sperm DNA methylation signatures and semen quality. To date, however, no randomized clinical trials have been published that assess the effects of diet on these changes in the function of sperm DNA.

Now, researchers have evaluated for the first time the effect of a short/middle-term consumption of a mixture of tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts) on sperm DNA methylation patterns in healthy individuals reporting eating a Western-style diet. The research revealed that the inclusion of a mix of nuts for 14 weeks significantly improved the sperm count, viability, motility, and morphology.

This study was conducted in 72 healthy, non-smoking, young participants and was published in the scientific journal Andrology. According to the researchers, these findings provide the first evidence that adding nuts to a regular Western-style diet impacts sperm DNA methylation in specific regions.

Albert Salas-Huetos, the first author of the article, states, “This work demonstrates that there are some sensitive regions of the sperm epigenome that respond to diet, and which can result in changes in sperm and in its ability to fertilize.”

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Study: Pregnant mother can pass COVID antibodies to fetus

According to a study in JAMA Pediatrics, coronavirus antibodies from a mother can cross the placenta, passing on some natural immunity to their newborns. Notably, the antibodies that scientists detected in the placenta were immunoglobulin G, or IgG, antibodies. These antibodies are made days after getting infected and are believed to offer some protection against the coronavirus.

Researchers tested more than 1,500 women who gave birth at a Philadelphia hospital, 83 of whom had COVID-19 antibodies, between April and August 2020. After giving birth, 72 of the 83 babies had antibodies in their umbilical cord blood. About half of the babies had antibody levels that were as high or higher than their mother’s blood levels, including about 25 percent with antibody levels nearly twice as high as their mother’s.

The researchers said that this could mean an earlier coronavirus inoculation might be better for pregnant women. “When vaccines are widely available, the optimal timing of maternal vaccination during pregnancy will need to consider maternal and fetal factors including the time needed to ensure neonatal protection,” the researchers stated. “The majority of women in our study who were seropositive [meaning they had detectable antibodies in their blood] were asymptomatic, with uncertain timing of viral exposure.”

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Is IVF the only successful fertility treatment?

“Thanks to continued advances in reproductive medicine, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a highly successful treatment for infertility,” says RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. But IVF treatments are more invasive than other treatments and can be a costly option, particularly for patients who don’t have fertility care insurance coverage. “Many patients believe that IVF provides their only chance of having a baby; however, this may not be the case.”

There are often less invasive, low-cost fertility treatment options available that give patients a good chance of success, RESOLVE says. You can read more about these options at the RESOLVE website. If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices for a free phone consultation.

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COVID-19 may impact male fertility, study finds

Severe cases of COVID-19 might harm the quality of a man’s sperm and possibly impact his fertility, according to a recent study published in the journal Reproduction.

“This report provides the first direct evidence to date that COVID-19 infection impairs semen quality and male reproductive potential,” the study said.

However, according to CNN, experts not involved in the study were skeptical about the report’s conclusion and urged caution in overgeneralizing the research findings. You can read the CNN story here.

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Confused about the COVID vaccine?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are getting conflicting information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The World Health Organization recently recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not get the vaccine unless the benefits outweigh the potential risks. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine all say that that the vaccines should be offered to pregnant and breastfeeding individuals who are eligible for vaccination.

The Harvard Health Letter has posted answers to some basic questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding–or are considering a pregnancy.

“Keep in mind that information is evolving rapidly. Your obstetric provider or medical team can advise you more fully, based on your personal health risks, exposures to the virus that causes COVID-19, and preferences,” the article notes.

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