PFC Infertility Doctor Blog

The Infertility Blog

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July 23, 2018

In mid-March, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, and other fertility experts met in Palm Springs for the 66th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS). Here is a brief overview of a few topics covered by presenters at the meeting.

Protecting Babies from Zika

At the PCRS Annual Meeting, Gabriela Paz-Bailey, MD, MS, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), updated attendees about an ongoing public health crisis: Zika infection. In Puerto Rico, Dr. Paz-Bailey and colleagues have been tracking the behavior of the Zika virus (ZIKV) in women and men of reproductive age—a critical field of study given the devastating impact this emerging flavivirus can have on offspring.

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July 20, 2018

A woman who was born without a uterus gave birth to a baby last year, thanks to a uterus transplant—the first of its kind in the U.S., where a handful of programs are conducting experimental uterine transplants.1

Surgeons are working to perfect their techniques—to ensure they are safe, ethical, and efficient—in the hopes of making motherhood a reality for women who may have never dreamed it could be possible for them.

When women lack a uterus. Women who are candidates for a uterus transplant have what’s called absolute uterine factor infertility (AUI). This means they either lack a uterus—sometimes since birth—or their uterus doesn’t function correctly—sometimes from infection or damage during surgery. AUI affects thousands of women, as many as 1 in 5 hundred reproductive-aged women.2

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July 17, 2018

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” may best be remembered as Dory’s mantra. But it’s also likely echoed by millions of couples that are dealing with male factor infertility.

Male infertility. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the male partner is either the sole or a contributing cause in 4 of 10 cases of infertility. Factors that may contribute to male factor infertility include past infections, hormonal imbalances, lifestyle, environment, or medical conditions. Beginning in their mid-30s, men also have a biological clock that can contribute to a gradual reduction in fertility. And after age 40, the risk of passing on genetic abnormalities to their children increases.1

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July 13, 2018

With the ability to create artificial organs that function and restore health, bioengineering has entered a “wow” era. Among those leading this field is a team of researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago, including assistant professor Monica M. Laronda, PhD, who recently presented research results on this topic at the PCRS Annual Meeting.

Bioprosthetic ovaries. Dr. Laronda and colleagues are researching ways to create implantable bioprosthetic ovaries for women with primary ovarian insufficiency and to engineer organs that support sex hormone production. The researchers were recently successful in developing techniques in mice that lay the groundwork for creating a human 3D printed ovary.1

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July 10, 2018

It’s not every day that a woman gives birth to a baby conceived within a year of her own conception. On November 25, 2017, Emma Wren Gibson’s delivery became a world record—a healthy birth from the longest known frozen embryo, originally cryopreserved in 1992.1

A 20-year-old frozen embryo was the previous oldest known embryo leading to a successful birth. However, it is not possible to confirm the oldest embryos with any certainty. That’s because American companies aren’t required to report the age of embryos, only the outcome of the pregnancies.