Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Lab-grown sperm

A variety of solutions exist for severe male factor infertility. Depending on its severity, it can be as simple as concentrating the good sperm cells and injecting them straight to the uterus (at the correct time in the woman's cycle) using a process known as IUI. Or... if only a small amount of normal sperm cells can be found - IVF (in vitro fertilization) is combined with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm insertion). And then, when no sperm cells are found at all, there are surgical procedures in which sperm cells are aspirated directly from the testicles (this too is combined with IVF-ICSI). But what happens when there aren't any sperm cells and all attempts to remedy the situation have failed? The couple is faced with several options - adoption, donor sperm, or deciding to stop trying to conceive.

For many years, there's been talk of growing sperm cells in a lab. Today, I came across an article that discusses successful attempts at growing mouse sperm cells from germ cells - in a lab. And, as always, I was looking for the Israeli angle - and I found it more easily than expected. A team of Israeli researchers at Ben-Gurion University headed by Professor Mahmoud Huleihel successfully replicated the results in their own lab. Way to go! I hope to hear more about this in the future, especially when it is able to help an infertile couple achieve their dream of having a biological child.

1 comment:

mm3908 said...

My name is Michal Munk and I am pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical
psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. As part of my
dissertation I am researching the relationship between infertility,
depression and body image in women, specifically as related to the
differences between women with primary (unable to conceive and
maintain a first pregnancy) and secondary (unable to conceive and
maintain a pregnancy subsequent to having at least one child)
infertility. I hope that findings from this study will eventually help
develop better psychotherapy treatments for women with infertility.

Females between the ages of 18-50, who are currently infertile (have
had unprotected sex for at least 12 months with no successful
pregnancy, those with primary or secondary infertility are eligible
for this study), and have no adopted/step child(ren) are eligible to
participate in this study. The study entails completing questionnaires
either online (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YCBQ35D), or by
hard-copy upon request (call: 347-766-3798), and may be completed in
20-30 minutes. Participation is voluntary and confidentiality will be
maintained. For each person who completes the survey, 2$ will be
donated to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. This study
has been approved by the FDU IRB (2/17/12).

Feel free to contact me with any further questions about this study. I
may be reached at 347-766-3798 or michalmunk@gmail.com.

Thank you for your time and consideration.