Aging, Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE / 15.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49172" align="alignleft" width="160"]Nancy Phillips, MDClinical Assistant ProfessorRutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolWomen's Health InstituteNew Brunswick, NJ Dr. Phillips[/caption] Nancy Phillips, MD Clinical Assistant Professor Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Women's Health Institute New Brunswick, NJ MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background of this article was as an interest piece prompting a literature review. We both felt it represented an underserved clinical need. The main findings are that the paternal age at conception does impact pregnancy outcomes,  including pregnancy complications, fetal chromosomal anomalies and childhood cancers and psychological disorders.
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE / 19.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Daniel R Brison PhD, FRCPath Scientific Director Department of Reproductive Medicine Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Old St. Mary's Hospital Manchester U.K and Catherine M Castillo PhD Maternal & Fetal Health Research Centre Division of Developmental Biology and Medicine School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health The University of Manchester  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: IVF conceived children have been known to have poorer birth outcomes when compared to spontaneously conceived children. Even when excluding twins and triplets, which result from more complicated pregnancies, IVF singletons have an increased risk of low birth weight and being born small for “dates” (length of gestation).  This is important as studies carried out in non-IVF children show that low birth weight is associated with slightly higher risk of disease in later life. We knew from the literature that birth outcomes differed within the IVF population depending on the type of treatment used; for example, singletons conceived from frozen/thawed embryos are born with higher average birth weights when compared to their fresh embryo conceived counterparts. Our research team wanted to investigate whether IVF practices and technologies per se (which have advanced quite rapidly over the years since 1978 when the first IVF baby was conceived) were associated with differences in singleton birth weight. In attempting to quantify historical changes in laboratory practice going back as far as we could, we discovered that our outcome of interest – birth weight – had indeed increased notably throughout the time period covered by the available data. Besides observing an increase in birth weight of almost 180g over the study period (when accounting for child gender, gestational age and maternal parity), we also observed that frozen embryo transfer was associated with higher birth weight, and spontaneous fetal reduction and longer duration of infertility were associated with lower average birth weight.
Author Interviews, Fertility / 19.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47545" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Simone Immler PhD School of Biological Sciences University of East Anglia  Dr. Immler[/caption] Dr Simone Immler PhD School of Biological Sciences University of East Anglia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sperm produced by one male vary substantially both in their genetic content as well as their swimming ability including speed and duration. In a previous study in the zebrafish, we showed that sperm swimming duration is at least partly determined by the underlying haploid genetic content carried by the different sperm within an ejaculate (alavioon et al. 2017 PNAS). If sperm with different swimming ability differ in their genetic content, we expect to see differences among the offspring sired by sperm that vary on their swimming ability. In our new study, we tested how selection on  sperm swimming duration affects offspring fitness. We performed in vitro fertilisation assays mimicking natural conditions in the externally fertilising zebrafish. We split the ejaculate of one male into two halves and in one half we added the sperm straight away to the eggs, allowing all motile sperm to have a go at fertilising an  egg. In the second half, we activated the sperm but delayed the moment of fertilisation by 25 seconds and thus selected for the longer swimming sperm. In this treatment only sperm that were still swimming after this period of time (about 50%) were able to fertilise an egg. We then reared the offspring to adulthood and measured number of offspring produced throughout life and measured lifespan. We found that sperm that were able to swim for longer sired offspring that not only produced more and healthier offspring but also lived for longer than their full siblings sired by sperm with reduced swimming ability. Our previous research (Alavioon et al. 2017 PNAS) suggests that these differences are caused at least partly by genetic differences among sperm.
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Fertility, McGill, OBGYNE / 04.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47256" align="alignleft" width="142"]Natalie Dayan MD MSc FRCPC General Internal Medicine and Obstetric Medicine, Clinician-Scientist, Research Institute Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) McGill University Health Centre  Montréal QC Dr. Dayan[/caption] Natalie Dayan MD MSc FRCPC General Internal Medicine and Obstetric Medicine, Clinician-Scientist, Research Institute Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) McGill University Health Centre Montréal QC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Infertility treatment is rising in use and has been linked with maternal and perinatal complications in pregnancy, but the extent to which it is associated with severe maternal morbidity (SMM), a composite outcome of public health importance, has been less well studied. In addition, whether the effect is due to treatment or to maternal factors is unclear. We conducted a propensity matched cohort study in Ontario between 2006 and 2012. We included 11 546 women who had an infertility-treated pregnancy and a singleton live or stillborn delivery beyond 20 weeks. Each woman exposed to infertility treatment was then matched using a propensity score to approximately 5 untreated pregnancies (n=47 553) in order to address confounding by indication. Poisson regression revealed on overall 40% increase in the risk of a composite of SMM (one of 44 previously validated indicators using ICD-10CA codes and CCI procedure codes) (30.3 per 1000 births vs. 22.8 per 1000 births, adjusted relative risk 1.39, 95% CI 1.23-1.56). When stratified according to invasive (eg., IVF) and non-invasive treatments (eg. IUI or pharmacological ovulation induction), women who were treated with IVF had an elevated risk of having any severe maternal morbidity, and of having 3 or more SMM indicators (adjusted odds ratio 2.28, 95% CI 1.56 – 3.33), when compared with untreated women, whereas women who were treated with non-invasive treatments had no increase in these risks.
Author Interviews / 13.12.2018

MedicalResearch.comInterview with:

Hadi Shafiee, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Engineering in Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Hadi Shafiee, PhD
Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Engineering in Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School

 

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Last year we developed a smartphone-based technology for male infertility testing at-home, which was published at Science Translational Medicine. This year, we developed a similar technology for ovulation testing at-home. Here, we developed a 3D printed smartphone-attachment similar to a cellphone case that literally turns the phone to a small microscope. 

This low-cost smartphone attachment magnifies the saliva fern structures dried on a reusable device that will be  recorded using the smartphone camera. The entire sample-to-answer time is only few minutes (~7 mins). The developed ovulation test is fully automated, simple, and easy-to-use. 

Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44679" align="alignleft" width="142"]Vida Maralani PhD Associate Professor Department of Sociology Cornell University Dr. Maralani[/caption] Vida Maralani PhD Associate Professor Department of Sociology Cornell University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Breastfeeding is a time-intensive and culturally and emotionally charged topic in the U.S. with many different stakeholders. Women hear the strong message that they should breastfeed their infants for the first year of life, yet it is unambiguously clear that they find these guidelines hard to follow in practice. We were interested in exploring how breastfeeding duration is associated with how many children women go on to have. Our results show that women who breastfeed their first child for five months or longer are more likely to have three or more children, and less likely to have only one child, than women who breastfeed for shorter durations or not at all. Women who initiate breastfeeding did not differ in how many children they expected to have before they started their families. Rather, the number of children women actually bear differs by how long they breastfeed their first child. Women who breastfeed for shorter durations are more likely to have fewer children than they expected than to have more children than expected. In contrast, women who breastfeed longer are as likely to achieve their expectations as to exceed them, and they are nearly as likely to have more children than they expected as they are to have fewer.
Author Interviews, CDC, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, OBGYNE / 07.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44286" align="alignleft" width="128"]Michelle H. Moniz, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800 Dr. Moniz[/caption] Michelle H. Moniz, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We wanted to examine whether Medicaid expansion in Michigan was associated with improved access to birth control/family planning services in our state.  We conducted a survey of enrollees in the Michigan Medicaid expansion program (called "Healthy Michigan Plan"). We found that 1 in 3 women of reproductive age reported improved access to birth control/family planning services after joining HMP.  Women who were younger, who were uninsured prior to joining HMP, and those who had recently seen a primary care clinician were most likely to report improved access. 
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Fertility / 19.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “sperm” by Iqbal Osman is licensed under CC BY 2.0Elena Ricci, ScD, PhD Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milano MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The role of alcohol drinking on male fertility is still controversial. A negative association between alcohol intake and semen quality has been suggested by some authors, although other studies did not confirm this finding. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a cohort study on subfertile couples, and found that men with a moderate alcohol intake (4 to 7 units of ethanol per week - 1unit=12.5 grams ) had higher semen volume and sperm total count than men with both lower and higher intake. Abstainers had a better sperm concentration, but the small size of this group prevented us from drawing any significant conclusions. Alcohol was not associated to sperm motility. 
Author Interviews, Fertility, Nature / 09.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42264" align="alignleft" width="200"]Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Ph.D.  Professor, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department of Biological Sciences University of Toledo Toledo, OH 43606 Dr. Avidor-Reiss[/caption] Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Ph.D.  Professor, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department of Biological Sciences University of Toledo Toledo, OH 43606 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most dividing cells in the body need exactly two centrioles for normal cell division and development. Abnormalities in centriole number can cause cancer and devastating developmental defects. Because of this importance of centriole number and because all cells originate from the zygote – the product of the sperm and egg – it makes sense that the zygote should possess two centrioles, as well. However, the egg does not contain any centrioles, so the sperm is the sole contributor of the centrioles; and yet, it is currently thought that the sperm contains only one centriole. This is problematic because supposedly that leaves the zygote with only one centriole, even though it must propagate cells with two centrioles. In the past, we found that insect sperm have an atypical centriole that escaped discovery because it is so different. We therefore hypothesized that humans may also have an atypical sperm centriole. Our new paper shows that in human sperm there exists, in addition to the known centriole, a second centriole that deviates from the typical structural and composition that is expected from a centriole. Although it looks very different from any centriole ever described, we found that it functions in an in vitro functional assay. Furthermore, during fertilization, it performs the functions traditionally associated with centrioles. Together, this resolves a 50-year-long debate regarding the centrioles of human sperm; the sperm contains two functional centrioles, despite that one is atypical. 
Author Interviews, Fertility, JAMA, OBGYNE / 16.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Acupuncture Needle” by Acid Pix is licensed under CC BY 2.0Caroline Smith, PhD Professor Clinical Research Western Sydney University Research Theme Champion Health and Wellbeing MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Despite technological improvements to IVF the success of IVF treatment remains low. Consequently, new drugs, laboratory techniques and other treatments need to be developed and rigorously tested to explore their effects on producing healthy babies for women undergoing IVF.  In 2002, the first randomised controlled trial of acupuncture administered a specific form of IVF acupuncture at the time of embryo transfer. The results indicated the chance of achieving a pregnancy from acupuncture was twice that to women undergoing IVF treatment alone. From mid 2000s many women have started to use adjunctive treatments such as acupuncture whilst undergoing IVF.  We conducted and reported on a  pilot study in 2006 which produced results suggesting a benefit. It is important that these findings were rigorously examined in a larger trial. Findings are presented from our trial presented in JAMA. Our study of over 800 Australian and New Zealand women undergoing acupuncture treatment during their IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle has failed to confirm significant difference in live birth rates.
Author Interviews, Fertility, Sugar / 15.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40075" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr-Elizabeth-Hatch Dr. Hatch[/caption] Dr. Elizabeth E. Hatch, PhD Professor, Epidemiology School of Public Health Boston University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: We are conducting a large, ongoing, preconception cohort study, PREgnancy STudy Online or PRESTO http://sites.bu.edu/presto/   in the U.S. and Canada of couples who are planning a pregnancy.  The overall goal of the study is to identify factors that affect fertility, measured by the time taken to conceive, and factors that affect the risk of miscarriage.  Since many women are postponing pregnancy until the later reproductive years, we would like to help find behavioral and environmental factors that might either help or harm fertility so that couples can avoid the stress and expense of infertility workups and treatment.  As part of the larger study, we looked at consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) by both the male and female partner, since some previous research suggested that sugar-sweetened beverages might harm semen quality and ovulation. For this analysis, we included 3,828 women aged 21 to 45 and 1,045 of their male partners. We asked both males and females (in separate baseline questionnaires) about their usual consumption of SSBs over the last month, and we had a drop-down menu with names of individual sodas (both sugar-sweetened and diet) and energy drinks.  We also asked general questions about the frequency of fruit juice and ‘sports drink’ consumption.   In our analysis, we controlled for multiple factors that might ‘confound’ the associations, such as body mass index, education, caffeine, smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as a measure of overall diet quality.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Fertility, JAMA, OBGYNE, Thyroid Disease / 13.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Tianpei Hong, MD, PhD Of behalf of Prof. Jie Qiao and all the coauthors, Director, Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism Director, Department of Laboratory Medicine Peking University Third Hospital Beijing, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Ÿ           Women who test positive for thyroid autoantibodies have been reported to be at 2- to 3-fold higher risk of spontaneous miscarriage than those who test negative. However, the effect of levothyroxine on miscarriage among women with positive thyroid autoantibodies and normal thyroid function has been documented in limited studies with conflicting results.
  • Ÿ           Given the substantial difficulty achieving successful pregnancy among infertile women, identifying optimal treatment for infertile women who test positive for thyroid autoantibodies is particularly important. There are a few randomized clinical trials showing a beneficial effect of levothyroxine treatment on pregnancy outcomes among women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET). However, the sample size of those trials was rather small which may weaken the quality of the evidence.
  • Ÿ           Therefore, the Pregnancy Outcomes Study in euthyroid women with Thyroid Autoimmunity after Levothyroxine (POSTAL) study was conducted in Peking University Third Hospital to evaluate whether levothyroxine treatment initiated before IVF-ET could decrease the miscarriage rate and improve the live birth rate in infertile women who tested positive for antithyroperoxidase antibody but had normal thyroid function.
Author Interviews, Fertility, Heart Disease, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 30.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine - development of the in vitro fertilization procedure” by Solis Invicti is licensed under CC BY 2.0Paolo Cavoretto MD PhD San Raffaele Scientific Centre Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department Milan Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the most common forms of congenital disorders and a relevant cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality involving about 0.8% of pregnancies. IVF pregnancies are very common nowadays with increasing rates in the developed countries worldwide. There is no consensus in current practice guidelines whether IVF/ICSI conception represents an indication for performing a fetal echocardiogram according to different eminent scientific societies due to differences in the estimations of the risk for CHD in the available literature.
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE / 15.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. João Martins Pisco MD PhD Radiologia de Intervenção Hospital Saint Louis - Rua Luz Soriano PortugalProf. Dr. João Martins Pisco MD PhD Radiologia de Intervenção Hospital Saint Louis - Rua Luz Soriano Portugal MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for the study is the good results I started to check in patients with uterine fibroids who could conceive a successful pregnancy with live birth following embolization. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: The readers should know that fertility can be restored following embolization of uterine fibroids, particularly if the embolization is partial. The wish of conception in patients with uterine fibroids is not a contraindication for fibroids embolization.
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Fertility, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE / 08.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34455" align="alignleft" width="150"]Neda Razaz, PhD, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Reproductive Epidemiology Unit Karolinska Institutet Dr. Razaz[/caption] Neda Razaz, PhD, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Reproductive Epidemiology Unit Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Multiple births of twins and triplets – and the associated health risks – have increased in many high-income countries, with a respective two-fold and three-fold increase in recent decades. In Canada, triplet births or higher have increased from 52.2 per 100 000 live births to 83.5 between 1991 and 2009, mainly because of an increase in fertility treatments for older women of child-bearing age. In this study we found that among twin and triplet pregnancies that were reduced to singleton or twin pregnancies, there was a substantial reduction in complications such as preterm birth and very preterm birth. Although rates of death and serious illness were not lower among all multifetal pregnancies that were reduced, pregnancies that resulted from fertility treatments did show a significant reduction in rates of death or serious illness following fetal reduction.
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Weight Research / 04.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33632" align="alignleft" width="133"]Alex J. Polotsky, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Denver Practice homepage Dr. Polotsky[/caption] Alex J. Polotsky, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Denver Practice homepage MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It has been well established that profound dietary changes occurred over the past 100 years. The type and amount of fat consumed has changed quite a bit over the course of 20th century. Intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), previously consumed in large quantities by humans from vegetable and fish sources, has dropped significantly. The typical Western diet (sometimes also called the typical American diet) provides an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of as high as 25:1, which is quite different from what it used to up until about the 19th century (believed to be about 1:1 ratio). In animal studies, diets enriched with omega-3 PUFA enhance early embryonic development and boost progesterone secretion. Obesity is well known to be associated with decreased progesterone production in women (even if a obese woman ovulates). The reasons for this are not clear. Obesity is also a state of low-grade chronic inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known to have anti-inflammatory properties. We sought to test whether dietary supplementation with omega-3 PUFA favorably affects reproductive hormones in women and whether this effect includes normalization of progesterone production in obesity. All women in the study tolerated supplementation well, and had significantly decreased their omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (they were normalized much closer to a 1:1 ratio). Omega-3 supplementation resulted in a trend for increased progesterone in obese women, thus enhancing ovulatory function. A 16 to 22 percent increase was observed. Additionally, the supplementation resulted in reduced systemic inflammation.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Fertility, OBGYNE / 29.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33423" align="alignleft" width="133"]Emily S. Jungheim, MD, MSCI Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Washington University St. Louis, Missouri Dr. Jungheim[/caption] Emily S. Jungheim, MD, MSCI Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Washington University St. Louis, Missouri MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many women with health insurance lack coverage for fertility treatment so they end up being self-pay for fertility treatments which can be expensive and limit access to care. 15 states have responded with mandates for employers to include fertility coverage in their employee insurance benefits, and 5 of these have comprehensive mandates that include IVF. Illinois is one of these states. Washington University is located on the border between Illinois and Missouri so our fertility center treats a number of women with coverage for fertility treatment and a large number of women who are self-pay for fertility treatment. We suspected that women requiring IVF to conceive were more likely to follow through with treatments if they had coverage so we decided to look at our data. Ultimately we confirmed our suspicions. Women with coverage were more likely to come back for additional cycles of IVF if they didn't conceive. Ultimately this ability to come back for additional treatment cycles led to a higher chance of live birth.
Abuse and Neglect, Cancer Research, Fertility, Immunotherapy / 27.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenneth S. K. Tung, M.D. Professor of Pathology and Microbiology Director of UVA Research Histology Core Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research University of Virginia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The immune system needs to see tissue antigens to avoid responding to them in order to prevent autoimmune disease development. The current dogma, stated in all Immunology and Reproductive Biology textbooks, considers the sperm antigens in the testis to be exempted from this process. They are considered totally hidden behind a tissue barrier, and are invisible to the immune system. Because sperm antigens are treated as foreign molecules, they should stimulate strong immune response when employed in cancer vaccines against antigens common to sperm and cancers. It is also believed that sperm molecules are protected by local factors that inhibit inflammation, whereas systemic mechanisms such as regulatory T cells would not exist. The paradigm has restrained ongoing research on systemic tolerance to sperm, and the need to understanding systemic regulation in infertility research
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Fertility / 15.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthias Straub Senior Director, Clinical Development Abbott MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Lotus I study provides clinical evidence that oral dydrogesterone is a treatment option for women who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. The current standard of care for IVF globally is micronized vaginal progesterone (MPV), which is administered vaginally. The Lotus I study concludes that oral dydrogesterone is similarly well-tolerated and efficacious compared to MVP, while being easier to administer than MVP.
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Fertility, Heart Disease, Women's Heart Health / 13.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32860" align="alignleft" width="200"]Jacob A. Udell MD MPH FRCPC Cardiovascular Division Women's College Hospital Toronto General Hospital University of Toronto Dr. Jacob Udell[/caption] Jacob A. Udell MD MPH FRCPC Cardiovascular Division Women's College Hospital Toronto General Hospital University of Toronto  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We’ve noticed for a long time that fertility drug treatment can cause short-term complications such as high blood pressure or diabetes in pregnancy. We recently started wondering whether there may be long term consequences for these women years after a baby was or was not born.  To do this, we looked at all women who were treated with fertility therapy in Ontario for the last 20 years, from what we could determine this amounted to more than 28,000 women. We then followed up years later to examine every woman’s cardiovascular health.
Author Interviews, CDC, Fertility, OBGYNE / 11.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Saswati Sunderam, PhD Division of Reproductive Health National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance – United States, 2014, the surveillance summary published this week in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), presents state-specific data on assisted reproductive technology (ART) use and outcomes. The report compares ART infant outcome data with outcomes for all infants born in the U.S. in 2014, and provides data on the contributions of  Assisted Reproductive Technology to total infants born, multiple birth infants, low birth weight infants, and preterm infants for each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Fertility, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 30.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tamar Wainstock, PhD Department of Public Health; Faculty of Health Sciences Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ISRAEL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a controversy in the medical literature regarding the possible association between infertility or infertility treatments, and the long-term offspring neoplasm risk: while some studies have found such an association, others have not. Since the number of offspring conceived following treatments are growing, and as they age, it is critical to clarify this possible association.
Author Interviews, Emory, Fertility, OBGYNE / 01.12.2016

[caption id="attachment_30068" align="alignleft" width="200"]Jennifer F. Kawwass, MD, FACOG Assistant Professor, Emory Reproductive Center Director of Third Party Reproduction, Emory Reproductive Center Dr. Jennifer F. Kawwass[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer F. Kawwass, MD, FACOG Assistant Professor, Emory Reproductive Center Director of Third Party Reproduction, Emory Reproductive Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: With the increasing use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), the number of cryopreserved embryos in storage has increased, as residual viable embryos from an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle may be frozen for future use. Each embryo maintains attributes reflective of the age of the female at time of the original oocyte retrieval. Embryo donation, a form of third-party reproduction, involves donation without compensation of previously formed embryos to another couple for implantation. Limited published data exist detailing outcomes of donor embryo cycles. Patients and clinicians would benefit from information specific to donor embryo cycles to inform fertility treatment options, counselling, and clinical decision-making. We sought to quantify trends in donor embryo cycles in the United States, to characterize donor embryo recipients, and to report transfer, pregnancy, and birth outcomes of donor embryo transfers.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Fertility, OBGYNE / 21.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29707" align="alignleft" width="144"]David McLernon PhD MPhil BSc Research Fellow in Medical Statistics Medical Statistics Team Institute of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Foresterhill Aberdeen Dr. David McLernon[/caption] David McLernon PhD MPhil BSc Research Fellow in Medical Statistics Medical Statistics Team Institute of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Foresterhill Aberdeen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Normally when a couple attend a fertility clinic to begin IVF treatment they are only informed about their chances of having a baby for the first attempt of IVF. In actual fact the first treatment is often unsuccessful and many couples will go on to have several complete cycles of the treatment– each involving the transfer of one or two fresh embryos potentially followed by one or more frozen embryo transfers. We felt that a prediction model that could calculate the chances of having a baby over the complete package of treatment would provide better information for couples.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Fertility, OBGYNE / 21.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29039" align="alignleft" width="120"]Kavita Vedhara FAcSS Professor of Health Psychology Division of Primary Care School of Medicine University Park,N ottingham Prof. Kavita Vedhara[/caption] Kavita Vedhara FAcSS Professor of Health Psychology Division of Primary Care School of Medicine University Park,Nottingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a longstanding interest in the role of the hormone cortisol in fertility, because of its potential to affect the functioning of the biological systems that influence both conception and pregnancy. This interest has extended to IVF, with researchers exploring the relationship between levels of the hormone and pregnancy since the advent of the treatment in the late 1970s. However, a recent review showed that the relationship between cortisol and pregnancy in IVF was unclear. A number of reasons were highlighted for this, including that all of the studies to date had relied on short-term measures of the hormone measured in blood, saliva, urine and sometimes follicular fluid. Such measures can only capture hormone levels over a matter of minutes and hours. Such ‘snapshots’ are unable to give us an accurate picture of the levels of hormone over longer periods of time. This is important because any clinically relevant effects of cortisol on fertility are only likely to occur in the context of long-term changes in the hormone. In recent years it has become possible to measure long-term levels of cortisol in hair. Cortisol is deposited in the hair shaft and because human hair grows, on average, 1cm per month, a 3cm sample of hair closest to the scalp can tell us about levels of cortisol in the previous 3 months. We used the development of this technique to examine whether long term levels of cortisol (as measured in hair), or short term levels of cortisol (as measured in saliva) could predict whether or not women going through IVF would become pregnant. If you are trying to obtain a perfect cortisol balance, I use this product that helps to do just that.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Fertility / 03.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anders Rehfeld MD, PhD Student Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Human fertility is declining in many areas of the world and the reason is largely unknown. Our study shows that 44% of the tested chemical UV filters can induce calcium signals in human sperm cells, thereby mimicking the effect of progesterone. Progesterone-induced calcium signals, and the sperm functions it triggers, is absolutely essential for the human sperm cell to normally fertilise the human egg.
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE, PNAS / 23.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27272" align="alignleft" width="150"]Peter Sutovsky PhD Professor of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources University of Missouri Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the School of Medicine University of Missouri Health System Dr. Peter Sutovsky[/caption] Peter Sutovsky PhD Professor of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources University of Missouri Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the School of Medicine University of Missouri Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Strictly maternal inheritance of mitochondria, the cellular power stations, and mitochondrial genes that mitochondria harbor, is a major biological paradigm in mammals. Propagation of paternal, sperm-contributed mitochondrial genes, resulting in a condition called heteroplasmy, is seldom observed in mammals, due to post-fertilization elimination sperm mitochondria, referred to as “sperm mitophagy.” Our and others’ recent results suggest that this process is mediated by the synergy of ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) pathway that recycles outlived cellular proteins one molecule at a time, and autophagic pathway capable of engulfing and digesting an entire mitochondrion. Here we demonstrate that the co-inhibition of the ubiquitin-binding autophagy receptor proteins SQSTM1, GABARAP, and UPS, and the UPS protein VCP dependent pathways delayed the digestion of sperm mitochondria inside the fertilized pig egg. By manipulating said proteins, we created heteroplasmic pig embryos with both the paternal and maternal mitochondrial genes. Such animal embryos that could be used as a biomedical model to research and alleviate certain forms of mitochondrial disease.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Fertility, JAMA, OBGYNE / 20.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26343" align="alignleft" width="174"]Alexandra W. van den Belt-Dusebout, PhD Department of Epidemiology The Netherlands Cancer Institute The Netherlands Dr. Alexandra van den Belt-Dusebout[/caption] Alexandra W. van den Belt-Dusebout, PhD Department of Epidemiology The Netherlands Cancer Institute The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is commonly used, but because of the relatively recent use of IVF, long-term breast cancer risk is not yet known. Female sex hormones have been shown to affect breast cancer risk. Because sex hormone levels during hormonal stimulation of the ovaries for IVF are up to 10 times higher than in natural cycles, IVF was expected to increase breast cancer risk.
Author Interviews, Fertility, HPV, OBGYNE, STD / 12.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26136" align="alignleft" width="149"]Dejan R. Nonato, MD, PhD Institute of Tropical Pathology and Public Health School of Medicine Federal University of Goiás Goiânia, GO, Brazil Dr. Dejan Nonato[/caption] Dejan R. Nonato, MD, PhD Institute of Tropical Pathology and Public Health School of Medicine Federal University of Goiás Goiânia, GO, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) share the same route of sexual transmission and possess similar risk factors, indicating that co-infection may act synergistically in the induction of epithelial cell abnormalities.