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Blog of Jeany Stein

Sep 29, 2015 20:38

Stem cells

Stem cells could produce sperm and egg

Experiments in mice show that skin cells of the animals can be turned into stem cells, which can then be turned into the precursor cells for sperm and egg. If these precursor cells are implanted into sterile mice, the mice become fertile, producing sperm and egg that can be used to produce live baby mice.

It could be decades before researchers know if the method works in humans and is safe. But the findings raise the possibility that "women who have run out of eggs and men who don’t make sperm may now be able to make new eggs or sperm from stem cells,"

Sep 29, 2015 17:31


Planned to be introduced to patients in at least one international region by the end of 2015, the OvaPrime treatment is a potential fertility treatment that could enable a woman to increase her egg reserve. This treatment is designed to transfer a patient’s egg precursor (EggPCSM) cells, immature egg cells found inside the protective ovarian lining, to the patient’s ovaries where they may mature into fertilizable eggs during the IVF process.

Sep 29, 2015 13:55


Derived from bacteria, mitochondria are our cells’ energy-producing powerhouses. Now, a Massachusetts company is convinced that these microscopic cylinders are also key to conceiving a baby, and it has persuaded several groups of physicians outside the United States to test that controversial premise in women with fertility problems. More than 10 women are pregnant via the firm’s proprietary in vitro fertilization (IVF) method, which adds a bolus of a woman’s own mitochondria to her mature egg." alt="alt text" title="" />

Sep 27, 2015 02:29


At cycle baseline, patients are instructed to begin a sequence of about 15-22 days of estrogen injections to build the uterine lining. At ‘lining check’, upon demonstration of a thickened endometrium lining, usually around day five to six, patients are instructed to begin progesterone. The morning of the transfer our team of embryologists will thaw the embryo(s) for transfer, a short time later the patient will arrive and the transfer, very similar to what you experience with the fresh cycle, will occur.

Sep 27, 2015 02:19

Augment Trial

Toronto woman first in world to give birth after experimental procedure to recharge her eggs CATEGORY: [News] | TAGS: [augment]

The baby, a boy named Zain, was born to 34-year-old Natasha Rajani of Toronto on April 13. The fact that he’s here makes a lot of medical experts nervous. In what is being described as a milestone ac... OvaScience’s method boils down to making older eggs—well, young again.

Women are born with a set number of eggs, and as we age, these eggs dwindle. Meanwhile, the quality of the remaining eggs declines over time as well, making it harder to get pregnant. OvaScience’s practitioners aim to basically “perk up” these older eggs through a treatment called AUGMENT.

Sep 27, 2015 01:55

IVF Implantation

in the IVF lab it takes place in a “ test tube” (actually a petri dish) which contains nourishing culture medium). The embryo thus formed divides rapidly and reaches the uterus in the blastocyst stage (or is transferred to the uterus on day 3 or day 5 during an IVF cycle). When in the uterus, the blastocyst starts to communicate (initiates a molecular conversation) with the endometrium (the uterine lining) by secreting protein molecules which results in implantation, if the embryo is competent enough and if the endometrium is receptive. Implantation is the attachment of the blastocyst stage embryo to the endometrial lining of the uterus, so that it further develops into a baby (imagine planting a seed in the soil).

This is analogous to how an IVF doctor prepares a woman for undergoing an IVF cycle. He gives hormone injections so that the eggs are collected and fertilized with her partner’s sperms to form embryos (seeds), hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are also used make the uterus ready for accepting the embryo (just like ploughing the land, adding fertilizers and so on). The woman needs to be in good health (analogous to waiting for the right season to sow the seeds).

In the same way, there can be three logical reasons for implantation failure:

• Poor quality embryo (genetically abnormal embryos)

• Non-receptive endometrium (due to defects in the uterus)

• The body is unhealthy

It is a well-known fact that young women fall pregnant quickly when compared to their older counterparts. This is because eggs from older women are more prone to genetic defects, such as aneuploidies (presence of the wrong number of chromosomes), and contain incorrect or insufficient genetic information necessary to build a healthy baby).

This clearly shows that embryo competency plays a major role in implantation.

During IVF, endometrial receptivity is assessed crudely with the help of ultrasound images. Endometrial thickness is measured using ultrasound images and an endometrium of greater than 8mm, which is trilaminar, is said to be optimum for embryo transfer.

It is a well-known fact that the endometrium becomes receptive only after progesterone exposure. Progesterone brings about necessary changes in endometrium (converts the endometrium from proliferative to secretory phase) so that it becomes ready to accept the embryo. Recently, frozen embryo transfers are becoming much more successful than fresh embryo transfers in the field of IVF. It is hypothesized that high estrogen concentration in the body during the fresh IVF cycle compromises endometrial receptivity.

What are the possible reasons for “non-receptive” uterus during an IVF cycle?

• If the uterus contains adhesions, polyps or fibroids in the cavity, then its receptivity will be impaired

• If there is premature increase in progesterone levels (that is, rise in progesterone levels before egg collection due to premature luteinisation of follicles) during an IVF cycle, then the receptivity of the uterus doesn’t synchronize well with the time of embryo transfer and this can lead to failed implantation. This problem can be solved by careful monitoring of the IVF cycle.

• It is believed that thin endometrial lining (a lining which is less than 8mm) is not receptive enough.

• An infection of the uterus has also been hypothesized to prevent implantation, by making the uterine environment less optimal.

There are also so many unproved reasons cited for lack of uterine receptivity, which include: immunological theories like the presence of high number of uterine NK cells, excessive HLA matching between partners; and blood clotting issues.

You can try doing a frozen embryo transfer instead of a fresh transfer. High levels of estrogen in the body during a fresh cycle can damage uterine receptivity.

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