42 research outputs found

    Hydrodynamic propulsion of human sperm

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    The detailed fluid mechanics of sperm propulsion are fundamental to our understanding of reproduction. In this paper, we aim to model a human sperm swimming in a microscope slide chamber. We model the sperm itself by a distribution of regularized stokeslets over an ellipsoidal sperm head and along an infinitesimally thin flagellum. The slide chamber walls are modelled as parallel plates, also discretized by a distribution of regularized stokeslets. The sperm flagellar motion, used in our model, is obtained by digital microscopy of human sperm swimming in slide chambers. We compare the results of our simulation with previous numerical studies of flagellar propulsion, and compare our computations of sperm kinematics with those of the actual sperm measured by digital microscopy. We find that there is an excellent quantitative match of transverse and angular velocities between our simulations and experimental measurements of sperm. We also find a good qualitative match of longitudinal velocities and computed tracks with those measured in our experiment. Our computations of average sperm power consumption fall within the range obtained by other authors. We use the hydrodynamic model, and a prototype flagellar motion derived from experiment, as a predictive tool, and investigate how sperm kinematics are affected by changes to head morphology, as human sperm have large variability in head size and shape. Results are shown which indicate the increase in predicted straight-line velocity of the sperm as the head width is reduced and the increase in lateral movement as the head length is reduced. Predicted power consumption, however, shows a minimum close to the normal head aspect ratio

    How do men in the United Kingdom decide to dispose of banked sperm following cancer treatment?

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    Current policy in the UK recommends that men bank sperm prior to cancer treatment, but very few return to use it for reproductive purposes or agree to elective disposal even when their fertility recovers and their families are complete. We assessed the demographic, medical and psychological variables that influence the decision to dispose by contacting men (n = 499) who banked sperm more than five years previously, and asked them to complete questionnaires about their views on sperm banking, fertility and disposal. From 193 responses (38.7% response rate), 19 men (9.8%) requested disposal within four months of completing the questionnaire. Compared with men who wanted their sperm to remain in storage, they were significantly more confident that their fertility had recovered (OR = 1.78, 95% CI = 1.05-3.03, p = 0.034), saw fertility monitoring (semen analysis) as less important (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.39-0.94, p = 0.026), held more positive attitudes to disposal (OR = 5.71, 95% CI = 2.89-11.27, p < 0.001), were more likely to have experienced adverse treatment side-effects (OR = 4.37, CI = 1.61-11.85, p = 0.004) and had less desire for children in the future (OR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.26-0.64, p < 0.001). Information about men's reasons to dispose of banked sperm may be helpful in devising new strategies to encourage men to engage with sperm banking clinics and make timely decisions about the fate of their samples

    APHRODITE criteria:addressing male patients with hypogonadism and/or infertility owing to altered idiopathic testicular function

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    Research question: Can a novel classification system of the infertile male - 'APHRODITE' (Addressing male Patients with Hypogonadism and/or infeRtility Owing to altereD, Idiopathic TEsticular function) - stratify different subgroups of male infertility to help scientists to design clinical trials on the hormonal treatment of male infertility, and clinicians to counsel and treat the endocrinological imbalances in men and, ultimately, increase the chances of natural and assisted conception?Design: A collaboration between andrologists, reproductive urologists and gynaecologists, with specialization in reproductive medicine and expertise in male infertility, led to the development of the APHRODITE criteria through an iterative consensus process based on clinical patient descriptions and the results of routine laboratory tests, including semen analysis and hormonal testing.Results: Five patient groups were delineated according to the APHRODITE criteria; (1) Hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism (acquired and congenital); (2) Idiopathic male infertility with lowered semen analysis parameters, normal serum FSH and normal serum total testosterone concentrations; (3) A hypogonadal state with lowered semen analysis parameters, normal FSH and reduced total testosterone concentrations; (4) Lowered semen analysis parameters, elevated FSH concentrations and reduced or normal total testosterone concentrations; and (5) Unexplained male infertility in the context of unexplained couple infertility.Conclusion: The APHRODITE criteria offer a novel and standardized patient stratification system for male infertility independent of aetiology and/or altered spermatogenesis, facilitating communication among clinicians, researchers and patients to improve reproductive outcomes following hormonal therapy. APHRODITE is proposed as a basis for future trials of the hormonal treatment of male infertility.</p

    Why don't some men with banked sperm respond to letters about their stored samples?

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    Long-term storage of banked sperm, especially when it is not needed, for reproductive purposes, is costly and poses practical problems for sperm banks. For sperm banks to function efficiently, men must understand the implications of unnecessary storage, and make timely decisions about disposal of their own samples. Men who bank sperm prior to cancer treatment are routinely offered follow-up consultations to test their fertility, update consent and, where necessary, expedite referral for Assisted Conception. Yet sperm banks report that men do not respond to letters, suggesting samples are stored needlessly. We conducted semi-structured interviews with six men with a history of not responding to letters, to document reasons for non-response. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Men's reasons for not responding are a complex interplay between past, present and future perspectives. In terms of their past, information is important on diagnosis, because men must understand that fertility can change after treatment. Present and future concerns focus on fears of being told fertility has not recovered and being pressured to dispose of banked sperm. The challenge is to devise invitation letters that address men's concerns while offering them tangible benefits and peace of mind

    APHRODITE criteria:addressing male patients with hypogonadism and/or infertility owing to altered idiopathic testicular function

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    Research question: Can a novel classification system of the infertile male - 'APHRODITE' (Addressing male Patients with Hypogonadism and/or infeRtility Owing to altereD, Idiopathic TEsticular function) - stratify different subgroups of male infertility to help scientists to design clinical trials on the hormonal treatment of male infertility, and clinicians to counsel and treat the endocrinological imbalances in men and, ultimately, increase the chances of natural and assisted conception?Design: A collaboration between andrologists, reproductive urologists and gynaecologists, with specialization in reproductive medicine and expertise in male infertility, led to the development of the APHRODITE criteria through an iterative consensus process based on clinical patient descriptions and the results of routine laboratory tests, including semen analysis and hormonal testing.Results: Five patient groups were delineated according to the APHRODITE criteria; (1) Hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism (acquired and congenital); (2) Idiopathic male infertility with lowered semen analysis parameters, normal serum FSH and normal serum total testosterone concentrations; (3) A hypogonadal state with lowered semen analysis parameters, normal FSH and reduced total testosterone concentrations; (4) Lowered semen analysis parameters, elevated FSH concentrations and reduced or normal total testosterone concentrations; and (5) Unexplained male infertility in the context of unexplained couple infertility.Conclusion: The APHRODITE criteria offer a novel and standardized patient stratification system for male infertility independent of aetiology and/or altered spermatogenesis, facilitating communication among clinicians, researchers and patients to improve reproductive outcomes following hormonal therapy. APHRODITE is proposed as a basis for future trials of the hormonal treatment of male infertility.</p

    A randomized placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effect of lactolycopene on semen quality in healthy males

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    Purpose Poor sperm quality is a major contributor to infertility in heterosexual couples, but at present there are few empirical therapies. Several studies have examined the role of dietary factors and data from randomized controlled trials suggest that oral antioxidant therapy can improve some sperm parameters. Health benefits of lycopene supplementation have been proposed for a variety of health conditions and here we examine whether it can help improve sperm quality. This study aimed to investigate the effect of 14 mg daily lactolycopene for 12 weeks on semen quality in healthy men. Methods Sixty healthy male participants were recruited and randomized to this double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study and received either 14 mg/d lactolycopene or a placebo for 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was a change in motile sperm concentration. Secondary endpoints were all other aspects of sperm quality, including the level of sperm DNA damage. Results Fifty-six men completed the intervention and the level of plasma lycopene was significantly increased in the men randomized to receive lycopene supplementation. There was no significant change in the primary endpoint (motile sperm concentration) post-intervention (p = 0.058). However, the proportion of fast progressive sperm (p = 0.006) and sperm with normal morphology (p < 0.001) did improve significantly in response to lactolycopene intervention. Conclusions Supplementation with 14 mg/d lactolycopene improves sperm motility and morphology in young healthy men

    ‘What are you going to do, confiscate their passports?’ Professional perspectives on cross-border reproductive travel

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    Objective: This article reports findings from a UK-based study which explored the phenomenon of overseas travel for fertility treatment. The first phase of this project aimed to explore how infertility clinicians and others professionally involved in fertility treatment understand the nature and consequences of cross-border reproductive travel. Background: There are indications that, for a variety of reasons, people from the UK are increasingly travelling across national borders to access assisted reproductive technologies. While research with patients is growing, little is known about how ‘fertility tourism’ is perceived by health professionals and others with a close association with infertility patients. Methods: Using an interpretivist approach, this exploratory research included focussed discussions with 20 people professionally knowledgeable about patients who had either been abroad or were considering having treatment outside the UK. Semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and subjected to a thematic analysis. Results: Three conceptual categories are developed from the data: ‘the autonomous patient’; ‘cross-border travel as risk’, and ‘professional responsibilities in harm minimisation’. Professionals construct nuanced, complex and sometimes contradictory narratives of the ‘fertility traveller’, as vulnerable and knowledgeable; as engaged in risky behaviour and in its active minimisation. Conclusions: There is little support for the suggestion that states should seek to prevent cross-border treatment. Rather, an argument is made for less direct strategies to safeguard patient interests. Further research is required to assess the impact of professional views and actions on patient choices and patient experiences of treatment, before, during and after travelling abroad

    Current global status of male reproductive health

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    BACKGROUND: The widespread interest in male reproductive health (MRH), fueled by emerging evidence, such as the global decline in sperm counts, has intensified concerns about the status of MRH. Consequently, there is a pressing requirement for a strategic, systematic approach to identifying critical questions, collecting pertinent information, and utilizing these data to develop evidence-based strategies. The methods for addressing these questions and the pathways toward their answers will inevitably vary based on the variations in cultural, geopolitical, and health-related contexts. To address these issues, a conjoint ESHRE and Male Reproductive Health Initiative (MRHI) Campus workshop was convened.OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE: The three objectives were: first, to assess the current state of MRH around the world; second, to identify some of the key gaps in knowledge; and, third, to examine how MRH stakeholders can collaboratively generate intelligent and effective paths forward.SEARCH METHODS: Each expert reviewed and summarized the current literature that was subsequently used to provide a comprehensive overview of challenges related to MRH.OUTCOMES: This narrative report is an overview of the data, opinions, and arguments presented during the workshop. A number of outcomes are presented and can be summarized by the following overarching themes: MRH is a serious global issue and there is a plethora of gaps in our understanding; there is a need for widespread international collaborative networks to undertake multidisciplinary research into fundamental issues, such as lifestyle/environmental exposure studies, and high-quality clinical trials; and there is an urgent requirement for effective strategies to educate young people and the general public to safeguard and improve MRH across diverse population demographics and resources.LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION: This was a workshop where worldwide leading experts from a wide range of disciplines presented and discussed the evidence regarding challenges related to MRH. While each expert summarized the current literature and placed it in context, the data in a number of areas are limited and/or sparse. Equally, important areas for consideration may have been missed. Moreover, there are clear gaps in our knowledge base, which makes some conclusions necessarily speculative and warranting of further study.WIDER IMPLICATIONS: Poor MRH is a global issue that suffers from low awareness among the public, patients, and heathcare professionals. Addressing this will require a coordinated multidisciplinary approach. Addressing the significant number of knowledge gaps will require policy makers prioritizing MRH and its funding.STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: The authors would like to extend their gratitude to ESHRE for providing financial support for the Budapest Campus Workshop, as well as to Microptic S.L. (Barcelona) for kindly sponsoring the workshop. P.B. is the Director of the not-for-profit organization Global Action on Men's Health and receives fees and expenses for his work, (which includes the preparation of this manuscript). Conflicts of interest: C.J.D.J., C.L.R.B., R.A.A., P.B., M.P.C., M.L.E., N.G., N.J., C.K., AAP, M.K.O., S.R.-H., M.H.V.-L.: ESHRE Campus Workshop 2022 (Travel support-personal). C.J.D.J.: Cambridge University Press (book royalties-personal). ESHRE Annual Meeting 2022 and Yale University Panel Meeting 2023 (Travel support-personal). C.L.R.B.: Ferring and IBSA (Lecture), RBMO editor (Honorarium to support travel, etc.), ExSeed and ExScentia (University of Dundee), Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation (for research on contraception). M.P.C.: Previously received funding from pharmaceutical companies for health economic research. The funding was not in relation to this work and had no bearing on the contents of this work. No funding from other sources has been provided in relation to this work (funding was provided to his company Global Market Access Solutions). M.L.E.: Advisor to Ro, Doveras, Next, Hannah, Sandstone. C.K.: European Academy of Andrology (Past president UNPAID), S.K.: CEO of His Turn, a male fertility Diagnostic and Therapeutic company (No payments or profits to date). R.I.M.: www.healthymale.org.au (Australian Government funded not for profit in men's health sector (Employed as Medical Director 0.2 FET), Monash IVF Pty Ltd (Equity holder)). N.J.: Merck (consulting fees), Gedeon Richter (honoraria). S.R.-H.: ESHRE (Travel reimbursements). C.N.: LLC (Nursing educator); COMMIT (Core Outcomes Measures for Infertility Trials) Advisor, meeting attendee, and co-author; COMMA (Core Outcomes in Menopause) Meeting attendee, and co-author; International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Delegate Letters and Sciences; ReproNovo, Advisory board; American Board of Urology Examiner; American Urological Association Journal subsection editor, committee member, guidelines co-author Ferring Scientific trial NexHand Chief Technology Officer, stock ownership Posterity Health Board member, stock ownership. A.P.: Economic and Social Research Council (A collaborator on research grant number ES/W001381/1). Member of an advisory committee for Merck Serono (November 2022), Member of an advisory board for Exceed Health, Speaker fees for educational events organized by Mealis Group; Chairman of the Cryos External Scientific Advisory Committee: All fees associated with this are paid to his former employer The University of Sheffield. Trustee of the Progress Educational Trust (Unpaid). M.K.O.: National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council (Funding for research of the topic of male fertility), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Funding aimed at the development of male gamete-based contraception), Medical Research Future Fund (Funding aimed at defining the long-term consequences of male infertility). M.H.V.-L.: Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH)/Human Reproduction Programme (HRP) Research Project Panel RP2/WHO Review Member; MRHI (Core Group Member), COMMIT (member), EGOI (Member); Human Reproduction (Associate Editor), Fertility and Sterility (Editor), AndroLATAM (Founder and Coordinator).</p

    The development of an international oncofertility competency framework: a model to increase oncofertility implementation

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    © AlphaMed Press 2019 Background: Despite international evidence about fertility preservation (FP), several barriers still prevent the implementation of equitable FP practice. Currently, oncofertility competencies do not exist. The aim of this study was to develop an oncofertility competency framework that defines the key components of oncofertility care, develops a model for prioritizing service development, and defines the roles that health care professionals (HCPs) play. Materials and Method: A quantitative modified Delphi methodology was used to conduct two rounds of an electronic survey, querying and synthesizing opinions about statements regarding oncofertility care with HCPs and patient and family advocacy groups (PFAs) from 16 countries (12 high and 4 middle income). Statements included the roles of HCPs and priorities for service development care across ten domains (communication, oncofertility decision aids, age-appropriate care, referral pathways, documentation, oncofertility training, reproductive survivorship care and fertility-related psychosocial support, supportive care, and ethical frameworks) that represent 33 different elements of care. Results: The first questionnaire was completed by 457 participants (332 HCPs and 125 PFAs). One hundred and thirty-eight participants completed the second questionnaire (122 HCPs and 16 PFAs). Consensus was agreed on 108 oncofertility competencies and the roles HCPs should play in oncofertility care. A three-tier service development model is proposed, with gradual implementation of different components of care. A total of 92.8% of the 108 agreed competencies also had agreement between high and middle income participants. Conclusion: FP guidelines establish best practice but do not consider the skills and requirements to implement these guidelines. The competency framework gives HCPs and services a structure for the training of HCPs and implementation of care, as well as defining a model for prioritizing oncofertility service development. Implications for Practice: Despite international evidence about fertility preservation (FP), several barriers still prevent the implementation of equitable FP practice. The competency framework gives 108 competencies that will allow health care professionals (HCPs) and services a structure for the development of oncofertility care, as well as define the role HCPs play to provide care and support. The framework also proposes a three-tier oncofertility service development model which prioritizes the development of components of oncofertility care into essential, enhanced, and expert services, giving clear recommendations for service development. The competency framework will enhance the implementation of FP guidelines, improving the equitable access to medical and psychological oncofertility care

    Impact of Chlamydia trachomatis in the reproductive setting: British Fertility Society Guidelines for practice

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    Chlamydia trachomatis infection of the genital tract is the most common sexually transmitted infection and has a world-wide distribution. The consequences of infection have an adverse effect on the reproductive health of women and are a common cause of infertility. Recent evidence also suggests an adverse effect on male reproduction. There is a need to standardise the approach in managing the impact of C. trachomatis infection on reproductive health. We have surveyed current UK practice towards screening and management of Chlamydia infections in the fertility setting. We found that at least 90% of clinicians surveyed offered screening. The literature on this topic was examined and revealed a paucity of solid evidence for estimating the risks of long-term reproductive sequelae following lower genital tract infection with C. trachomatis. The mechanism for the damage that occurs after Chlamydial infections is uncertain. However, instrumentation of the uterus in women with C. trachomatis infection is associated with a high risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, which can be prevented by appropriate antibiotic treatment and may prevent infected women from being at increased risk of the adverse sequelae, such as ectopic pregnancy and tubal factor infertility. Recommendations for practice have been proposed and the need for further studies is identified
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