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Improving sperm production should be priority

Dr Kirsty Horsey

Progress Educational Trust

04 July 2002

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[BioNews, London] Professor Hans Evers, the chairman of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), commented last week that treatment of male infertility should be the next area of reproductive medicine to be improved.

Speaking before the ESHRE annual conference in Vienna, Professor Evers said that if scientists could find a way to counter the decline in sperm counts, the demand for IVF, ICSI and other fertility treatments would halve. This would mean that fewer women would have to undergo drug treatment and invasive procedures in order to try and become pregnant.

Evers said 'if there is an advance in treatment it should be in male infertility. There must be a way, in the future, to cure male infertility - an easier way than submitting the female partner to these kinds of invasive treatments'. The topic is due for discussion at the ESHRE conference, although Professor Evers does not believe that a way will be found to boost sperm production in the immediate future. But he said 'I'm sure within 10 years there will be something to stimulate sperm production in the site where it has to be produced - the testes'.

Meanwhile, two separate studies of ICSI, the procedure where a single sperm is directly injected into an egg, have been reported at the ESHRE conference. The first, presented by a team of researchers from Stockholm, Sweden, says that the procedure carries only a small risk of birth defects, and that studies showing that ICSI carries a higher risk than conventional IVF tend to be 'flawed'. The second study, presented by researchers from Sydney, Australia, shows that mental development of children born from ICSI is level with that of children conceived naturally.

© Copyright Progress Educational Trust

Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.

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Date Added: 04 July 2002   Date Updated: 12 September 2004
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