It’s now 40 years since the first IVF baby was delivered, and the field of reproductive medicine has continued to revolutionize treatment options for people with fertility issues.
Fertility SA researcher and embryologist Dr Ryan Rose says the field of reproductive medicine has come a long way in a short period of time.
In this Fertility SA podcast series he explains the latest trends in research that are seeking to render infertility a thing of the past.
“In the last few years, the two research-based discoveries which have had the biggest impacts for helping people to have babies are: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and vitrification of sperm, eggs and embryos,” he said.
“ICSI has been important because it has allowed many men with severe male infertility to have their own children. And the ability to freeze a person’s reproductive potential has also transformed the options for having a healthy baby.”
Dr Rose says there are four major areas of current focus for the team of doctors and researchers at Fertility SA.
1. Analysis of the bio-resource
Having treated thousands of people with fertility issues over many years, there is a wealth of medical information available to researchers. This data is now being retrospectively analysed for trends and areas of interest that may need further investigation.
2. Improving the quality of eggs and sperm
While many researchers are focused on embryo selection, the Fertility SA team is also looking at the mechanisms in sperm and eggs, which predict quality and successful embryo creation.
3. Improving outcomes for women with endometriosis
Women with endometriosis often experience difficulty with conception due to the condition. Research in this area is seeking to diagnose endometriosis better and provide improved fertility treatment outcomes.
4. Improving IVF techniques
IVF remains one of the major treatment options for people with fertility issues, and the research in this area is looking at how the process can continue to be more effective. This includes research into the media which is used in the laboratory to grow embryos.
“It is a really exciting time to be a researcher in reproductive medicine and the work into stem cells and how we can transform the creation of eggs and sperm could be a huge advancement.”
Listen to the full podcast.