Impact of stress on the future posterity

Scientists have been observing for a long that children born from fathers who had lived through chronic stress, had a high tendency to psychiatric pathologies. Recent study, conducted by experts of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, showed that sperm formed under stress is defective. It leads to disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary regulation of those areas of brain that are responsible for psycho-emotional state. These results proved the hypothesis that chronic stress of father, resulting in changes in the germ cells, leads to abnormalities in the nervous system of a child.

It is interesting that there is another experiment, conducted in parallel with the first one, which is also devoted to the impact of parents’ stress on the next generation. Scientists from the University of Haifa in Israel have proved on mice that maternal stress during pregnancy affects offspring's genes, namely, causes changes in gene expression associated with the mechanisms of adaptation, first at the level of an egg, and then into the brain tissues of the offspring . "If only behavioral effects have been found as evidence of this fact so far, now we can see the changes on the genetic level," - explains Prof. Micah Leshem. Of course, mice - are not women, but it is quite possible that a similar mechanism is laid in human nature.

Has it become possible to obtain sperm "artificially"?

An important research from the point of view of fighting against infertility was conducted by biotechnologists at Kyoto University (Japan), who had used mice stem cells to create sperm in the laboratory. The scientists, headed by Professor Mitinori Saito, did the following: they took stem cells from mice embryos and combined them with special genes, so that «the precursor cell» was gained, which is able to grow up either in the egg or the sperm. Obtained precursor cells were transplanted into testicles of infertile male mouse, and after 10 days normal sperm was formed there. Scientists took this sperm from the testicles of male mice and made in vitro fertilization, in a result of which healthy offspring was born. Later, this offspring had got their own children, which allowed researchers to believe that sperm received from stem cells was healthy. Now Japanese biologists are trying to get mice egg from stem cells.

Indian couples are looking for European donors

Once again, they started talking in the world about donation and infertility, but this time from a different perspective: infertile couples in India (there are now about 19 million and, according to the World Health Organization, this number is growing), tend to get a child of European appearance by using biomaterial of light-skinned blue-eyed donors. Experts from the Center of Reproduction note that it is difficult and expensive to get such a child. Clinics have to sign a contract with the future parents, contracts for the transportation of the embryo, parents have to do a huge amount of paperwork.

It is known, that people from different East European countries usually become donors for the Indians. The cost of embryos depends on health and education of donors and varies according to the region. European Donors are usually paid from 1 to 5 thousand dollars (although the Canadians, for example, get no monetary compensation, as this is prohibited by law). But neither bureaucratic procedures, nor serious material costs can reduce the desire of Indians to have a light-skinned child.

Obesity reduces chances for successful IVF

At the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in London Spanish researchers presented their findings on the impact of female body weight on the efficiency of IVF. The scientists have studied more than 9500 cases of IVF in various clinics of the country between 2000 and 2011 years and have concluded that overweight women who pass in vitro fertilization procedure, get pregnant less often than women with normal weight. "Based on our results, we can say that the chance of having a child of obese women is decreased by about one-third",- says doctor Jose Bellver from Valencia Infertility Institute.

Researchers have compared the body mass index (BMI) of women who have been trying to conceive a child with IVF. It was found that increasing of BMI significantly decreased the frequency of embryo’s implantation in the uterus and number of pregnancies, accordingly. For example, the birth rate among slim women was 38.6%, 37.9% - among women with normal weight, 34.9% - among overweight women and 27.7% among women suffering from obesity. The frequency of the embryo’s implantation in the uterus was 40.4% among slim women - 39.9% among women with normal weight, 38.5% - among women who are overweight and 30.9% - among those who have obesity.

Egg donation and "just in case" cryopreservation

The results of several studies answering why women become egg donors and their relation to the freezing of their own biological material were presented at the last conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology ESHRE.

Examining reasons of eggs donation, the researchers came to the conclusion that determining factors were the country of residence and age of the donor. Thus, "female donors after 30 years are guided mainly by altruistic motives, while more young ladies don’t hide their material interest in the procedure."

The second, equally important factor, was the donor’s country of residence: according to Professor of Bioethics Institute of Ghent (Belgium), Guido Pennings, "citizens of France, Belgium and Finland had a desire to help other women to experience the joy of motherhood. But citizens of countries of the former CIS took this procedure as an income. "