Author Interviews, Fertility, Genetic Research, OBGYNE, Technology / 29.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: PGT-A & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IMPROVES PREGNANCY OUTCOMES FOR PATIENTS UNDERGOING IVF MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Large, PhD Senior Director, Research at CooperGenomics CooperSurgical MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Large: Independent study results, presented at the recent the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Virtual Scientific Congress, demonstrated a 13 percent relative increase in ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates associated with the use of CooperSurgical’s PGTaiSM 2.0 technology to screen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The single-center study was conducted by NYU Langone Fertility Center (NYULFC), part of The Prelude Network. Preimplantation Genetic Testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is performed on embryos produced through IVF; it provides genetic information to help identify embryos that are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. PGTai 2.0 technology is an advancement in PGT-A testing platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to increase objectivity of this screening process. The study compared results from three next generation sequencing (NGS) genetic tests: Standard NGS, NGS with first generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 1.0 Technology Platform) and NGS with second generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 2.0 Technology Platform). The ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates significantly increased by a relative 13 percent in the PGTai 2.0 group as compared to subjective and prior methodologies. Study results also suggest that the increase in ongoing pregnancy and live births may be linked to improvements in several preceding IVF outcomes (implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates and pregnancy loss.) MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Dr. Large: This research moves us an important step closer to our goal of increased live births, improved pregnancy outcomes and further reduction of multiples in pregnancy through greater confidence in single embryo transfer. An estimated 48.5 million couples – approximately 15% of couples -- are affected by infertility worldwide. 80,000 babies were born with IVF in 2017 in the United States and more than one million babies were born in the period 1987 to 2015 in the United States as a result of IVF. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research this study? Dr. Large: The goal of PGT-A is to decrease risk and maximize the chances of IFV success by screening for embryos with the highest potential. This was precisely what NYULFC have observed so far with PGTai 2.0 compared to older technologies. To fully appreciate the impact that these improvements are having for patients, we’re excited to hear from additional IVF centers across the world as they utilize this technology. MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures? Dr. Large: The study demonstrates CooperSurgical’s commitment to developing the most advanced technology in the field of genetic testing to advance reproductive medicine and help families. By applying artificial intelligence in the PGTaism2.0 technology, we leverage mathematical algorithms derived from real-world data to achieve objective embryo assessment. I am the Senior Director of Genomics Research and Development at CooperSurgical. Michael Large, PhD, is the Senior Director, Genomics Research and Development at CooperSurgical. His team recently led and continues to develop state-of-the-art analytical methods for interrogating Reproductive Genetics. Dr. Large earned his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Baylor College of Medicine and his Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Michael Large, PhD Senior Director, Research at CooperGenomics CooperSurgical   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Large: Independent study results, presented at the recent the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Virtual Scientific Congress, demonstrated a 13 percent relative increase in ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates associated with the use of CooperSurgical’s PGTaiSM 2.0 technology to screen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF).[1] The single-center study was conducted by NYU Langone Fertility Center (NYULFC), part of The Prelude Network. Preimplantation Genetic Testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is performed on embryos produced through IVF; it provides genetic information to help identify embryos that are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. PGTai 2.0 technology is an advancement in PGT-A testing platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to increase objectivity of this screening process. The study compared results from three next generation sequencing (NGS) genetic tests: Standard NGS, NGS with first generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 1.0 Technology Platform) and NGS with second generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 2.0 Technology Platform). The ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates significantly increased by a relative 13 percent in the PGTai 2.0 group as compared to subjective and prior methodologies. Study results also suggest that the increase in ongoing pregnancy and live births may be linked to improvements in several preceding IVF outcomes (implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates and pregnancy loss.) (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE / 30.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Liron Rozenkrantz Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program in Placebo Studies, Harvard Medical School Former PhD student at Human Olfaction Research group, Department of Neurobiology Weizmann Institute of Science Reut Weissgross Research student Human Olfaction Research group, Department of Neurobiology Weizmann Institute of Science MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A pregnancy loss is not such a rare event as you would think: it is estimated that about 50% of all conceptions (or 15% of the documented pregnancies) end in spontaneous miscarriage. About 1-2% of all couples trying to conceive will experience recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), meaning 2-3 consecutive miscarriages, and despite going through numerous clinical investigations (hormonal tests, genetics and so) - about half of these cases will remain unexplained. This devastating phenomenon leaves couples with no explanation as to why they cannot bear a child. While most research in this field is focused on the reproductive organs (mainly the uterus), hormones and genes, we set out to look for new possible routes. The literature regarding the tight connection between olfaction and reproduction, mainly by social body-odors (or pheromones), is heavily documented, especially in rodents. Body-odors emitted from males affect pubertal development of juvenile female rodents and estrus cycle, and females body odors affect other females’ fertility state. The most robust phenomenon in this relation is the Bruce effect, in which pregnant female mice who are exposed to body-odors from a non-stud male - will experience impanation failure in 80% of exposures! Since there is growing evidence for the involvement of the olfactory system in human reproduction, we asked whether the olfactory system is also involved in human reproductive disorders such as unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (uRPL). To answer this question, we recruited 40 women experiencing uRPL and 57 matched controls (who never experienced a miscarriage, and are at similar age to the uRPL women), and compared their olfactory profile, mainly in response to men’s body-odors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE / 27.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shi Wu Wen PhD Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology University of Ottawa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have shown that having a baby as a result of using assisted procedures such as IVF nearly doubles the chance that a baby will have heart problems. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, NIH, Supplements / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Enrique Schisterman, Ph.D. Chief, Epidemiology Branch, DIPHR Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development NICHD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Small studies indicated that zinc and folic acid supplements for men might improve semen quality as both zinc and folic acid are involved in DNA transcription and have antioxidant functions. But no large-scale randomized trials have been done to assess efficacy, which is important since dietary supplements are largely unregulated, and FDA cannot regulate supplements until after they come to market. Some male fertility-targeted supplements are already among the most commonly sold supplement products, despite the lack of data to guide their use.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Fertility, OBGYNE / 11.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie Hargreave, PhD Senior Researcher Danish Cancer Society Research Center Copenhagen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Very few studies have examined the association between frozen embryo transfer and the risk of childhood cancer and most of them have been too small to show any effects. In our large nationwide population based study we found that frozen embryo replacement was associated with an increased risk of childhood cancer and especially for leukemia and neuroblastomas. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Yale / 10.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emma Xiaolu Zang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Sociology, Yale University New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the past decade, Generation Xers—individuals born between the early or mid-1960s and early 1980s—have outnumbered Baby Boomers (i.e. individuals born 1946-64) and currently make up a larger segment of the United States (US) labour force. There is a debate on whether college-educated women in Generation X have spawned a major shift in labor and fertility behaviors compared with their Baby Boomer counterparts because they are less ambitious in balancing family and career and tend to prioritize child-rearing. This study finds some support for this argument. Results reveal that Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) are increasing across cohorts for all educational groups and the increase is greatest for college-educated women. The increase in cohort TFR among college-educated women is being primarily driven by an increasing proportion of those with two children transitioning to a third birth.  (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE / 15.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility / 19.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Fertility, McGill, OBGYNE / 04.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
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. 

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Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, OBGYNE / 07.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
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.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Nature / 09.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Sugar / 15.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
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.
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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. (more…)
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. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Fertility, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE / 08.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Weight Research / 04.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Fertility, OBGYNE / 29.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
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 (more…)
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. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Fertility, Heart Disease, Women's Heart Health / 13.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Fertility, OBGYNE / 01.12.2016

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. (more…)