Concept Fertility :: Update February 2013

Concept Fertility Centre Research Update February 2013

PhD Project:  The effect of male age on oxidative stress in human sperm.
This is an ongoing project being undertaken by Su-Ann Koh through The University of Western Australia, School of Anatomy and Human Biology.  The supervisors are Dr Kathy Sanders and Dr Peter Burton.  This project is near completion and Su-Ann will submit her thesis in first quarter of 2013.

Su-Ann won the student prize at The WA Endocrine and Reproductive Sciences Symposium 2012 for her presentation "Oxidative stress markers in human sperm and their association with male age".  Two articles were submitted for publication in January – one has been accepted by Reproductive Biomedicine online. The other article submitted to Journal of Andrology is under review.

Masters Project: Treatment outcomes for patients will low AMH levels.
This project will be done as a Masters thesis through Edith Cowan University School of Biomedical Sciences.  Whilst the official supervisors are Dr Peter Roberts and Dr Peter Burton, Dr Lucy Williams is the "Chief Investigator" in this study.

The aim of the study is to examine the treatment outcomes (including embryology, pregnancy rates and birth outcomes) for patients with low AMH who undergo IVF/ICSI.

Honours Project: Does alcohol consumption reduce semen quality and IVF/ICSI outcomes?
This project is being undertaken by a final year Medical Student from The University of Notre Dame as an honours project.  The supervisors are Dr Peter Burton and Prof Mac (not confirmed) from The University of Notre Dame.

The aim of this project is to ascertain whether low or moderate alcohol consumption negatively affects semen quality and or IVF/ICSI embryo quality and pregnancy rates.  Recent publications suggest a negative impact of alcohol on ICSI pregnancies but little is known about the dose required for this effect.  This will be a retrospective study examining semen analysis records, semen analysis questionnaire responses and patient records.

Honours Project:  Development of a sperm vitrification system.
This project is being undertaken as an honours project by a student from The University of Western Australia, School of Anatomy and Human Biology.  The supervisors are Dr Kathy Sanders and Dr Peter Burton.

Vitrification has been successfully implemented in the majority of IVF laboratories worldwide for embryos and oocytes with improved survival rates.  Initial studies suggest that sperm vitrification might also provide better survival rates than slow freezing but this has not been fully examined.  The aim of this study is to compare vitrification and slow freezing survival rates and production of oxidative stress markers.

The long term consequences of assisted reproduction on development of the offspring.
Concept is participating in this study which is being conducted by researchers from The University of Western Australia who have received an NH&MRC grant for the project.  Invitation to participate letters are due to be sent out to all patients who gave birth between 1991 and 2001 asking them if they would like to be involved in this study.  Patients from Concept and PIVET will be asked to participate. Concept's involvement is to identify the patient cohort for the Research Assistant who will manage postage of the letters and collation of the responses.

Background: The Western Australian Pregnancy (Raine) Cohort is a cohort study currently in its 23rd year since inception. The Raine cohort is recognised to be representative of the Western Australian population and has been closely followed since birth with very high cohort retention, and as such is ideal as a reference population to study the long-term health outcomes of children born resulting from in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) within Western Australia. The purpose of this study is to approach the families of children born resulting from IVF treatment prior to 2001 to seek consent for their inclusion in a cohort study similar to the Raine study. This proposal has the support of the Raine executive, the Raine management committee and the Scientific Director of the Raine study is CIB on this application. It has also been approved by the RTC.  The Raine management team and researchers have performed follow-up assessments on the children within the cohort annually to the age of 10 years of age and then at ages 14, 17 and 20 years of age, with the addition of male and female reproductive development assessments at 15 and 20 years of age respectively.

The families consenting to involvement in the IVF cohort study will be asked to undertake all the age specific studies that were performed on the Raine cohort. These studies involve will involve assessments at age 14, 17 and 20 years of age (most participants will undergo two assessments) and also gender specific studies regarding reproductive function. The purpose of this cohort study is to determine if the children born from IVF treatment differ in any way with regard to their growth, metabolic, respiratory, psychological, immunological and reproductive development.


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