ASRM 2003 - San Antonio Roundup
We have provided this summary of highlights to share with Fertility Flash readers. This tiny sampling by no means reflects the scope and depth of the 1800 scientific research papers that were presented. Human Nuclear Transfer From a popular press's point of view, the most talked-about paper was Dr. Jamie Grifo's research on human nuclear transfer. Each day of the conference, a new headline appeared with the world "clone" or "clone-like" even though Grifo and his Chinese colleagues, who reportedly tried the process unsuccessfully, insist that the process is not cloning. They fused the DNA from the oocyte of an infertile woman with a donor oocyte from which the DNA had been removed, and then fertilized the "reconstituted egg" with sperm. This experimental procedure has not yet produced a live birth, and the FDA prohibits this type of research in the U.S. It was recently banned in China as well. It is an incredibly complex procedure that is not likely to ever be commercialized due to the fact that so many embryos are rendered non-viable. OK to Go Patients who have just undergone Embryo Transfer after IVF are no less or more likely to conceive if they immediately go to the restroom. A study revealed that there was no difference in pregnancy rates between those women who had to go immediately and those who waited. Relax about SSRIs Women undergoing infertility treatment who take prescription medications in the category of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, etc.) have less to worry about. Children conceived by women on SSRI medication were no more or less likely to have problems. 911 Decline Infertility patients from New York treated in the midst of the September 11, 2001 tragedy suffered from a higher rate of pregnancy loss than those treated prior. The results of nearly 400 patients who underwent an IVF procedure before and after September 11 were examined. Individuals placed in the "before" or "after" groups showed no significant differences in age, number of eggs retrieved, or number of embryos transferred. Clinical pregnancy rates were also comparable between the two groups. However, there was a nearly 25% lower delivery rate for the patients with a pregnancy test after September 11. This study again points to the significance of psychological factors that impact outcomes of infertility therapy. Telomeres Predict Poor Prognosis Scientists are noticing a correlation between short telomeres and egg quality. Telomeres are small pieces of DNA at the ends of chromosomes, that shorten naturally as we age. Telomere length could someday be used as a test of fertility potential.
|Joe Conaghan, PhD||Eldon Schriock, MD|