Archive by category | European Society of Human Reproduction & Embryology

ESHRE: Not very complementary

Most of the criticism levelled at complementary therapies is based on the fact that a lot of them don’t actually do anything. Techniques such as homeopathy and reflexology do not have a clinically proven mode of action and don’t deliver any benefit beyond placebo. But at the same time, many would argue that this fact makes it perfectly acceptable for women who are desperate to conceive to use such therapies if they think they will help. After all, what’s the harm?  Read more

ESHRE: How old is too old for IVF?

It’s expensive, there’s no guarantee of success, and it seems that, for women of a certain age, it might just be better not to bother spending the money at all. IVF, at least using a woman’s own eggs, should have an age limit of 44, some fertility experts are now claiming.  Read more

ESHRE: Saving fertility

One of the dominant themes of clinical research is the issue of how to preserve the fertility of young women or girls facing cancer. At the moment, the best bet seems to be freezing eggs or ovarian tissue, as sadly the rigours of chemotherapy usually cause the ovaries to shut down completely. But a new way to protect ovaries from aggressive chemotherapy may be on the horizon, says Kate Stern of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.  Read more

ESHRE: Sweet deal

One of the time-honoured rituals of big conferences is trawling the marketing booths in the exhibition hall looking for decent handouts (ideally edible ones). This year’s top freebie takes the meeting’s human reproduction theme to a quite ridiculous extreme, in the form of ‘sperm drinks’ (Irish cream liquer, since you asked), lovingly presented in a plastic container shaped like a wiggly egg-seeking gamete. After gingerly opening one and having a taste, several female members of the press room commented that it’s not often you come to an embryology conference and find the ideal hen night accessory…  … Read more

ESHRE: How to stop twins in their tracks

One of the pitfalls of having IVF is that you’re likely to end up with more than you bargained for – even when only one embryo is implanted, the likelihood of having identical twins runs at roughly seven times that for natural births. Through some ingenious time-lapse film-making, Dianna Payne of the Mio Fertility Clinic in Yonago, Japan, has now shown us how it happens.  Read more

ESHRE: Frozen at five

The first big story of the meeting is the news that doctors can now take and freeze eggs from girls as young as five, preserving their fertility in the event that they suffer childhood cancers. The treatment offers the potential to store eggs from kids facing aggressive chemotherapy that is likely to leave them sterile in later life.  Read more