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COVID IN PREGNANCY

New meta-analysis reaffirms ‘serious health risks’ from COVID-19 infection in pregnancy

Against a background of high neonatal and maternal relative risk, investigators from a new meta-analysis urge COVID vaccination for all women of childbearing age; ‘consistent and compelling’ evidence

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ART AS POPULATION POLICY

The economic and demographic value of publicly funded infertility treatment

A recent opinion piece in Fertility & Sterility makes a persuasive case for state-supported fertility treatment based on economic and fiscal arguments; infertility, say the authors, is a personal matter with ‘public importance’

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ACCESS TO ART

Many patients still denied fertility treatment on grounds of sexual orientation, health and income

ESHRE hosted a session at the annual conference of the UK’s Progress Educational Trust, the publishers of BioNews. The conference’s overall theme was fair access to treatment, with the ESHRE session looking at disparities in funding and regulation in four European countries: Turkey, Belgium, Germany and Italy.

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MALE INFERTILITY

Focus on Reproduction talks to Professor Allan Pacey about the ‘crisis’ in male reproductive health

Following a Campus meeting in October organised by the Male Reproductive Health Initiative, Focus on Reproduction spoke to Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield, UK, about the latest meta-analysis of Levine et al showing an accelerated decline in sperm counts since the beginning of this century, and what these findings might mean more generally for male health.

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OOCYTE RETRIEVAL

High oocyte yield once again associated with high live birth rate in new registry study

A new registry study of more than 170,000 IVF/ICSI cycles finds highest live birth rates among high and normal responders, but the ‘benefit’ comes with a suggestion of greater risks; authors call for policy review to reduce the number of oocytes retrieved in IVF

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FERTILITY TESTS

Reliability of common tests to predict fertility questioned in new study

Results from a time-to-conceive cohort study expose the limitations of everyday tests to predict future fertility; no association found between ovarian reserve as measured by AMH, FSH and inhibin B and future likelihood of live birth

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CAMPUS: PREGNANCY LOSS

Many possible causes of pregnancy loss, but few clear remedies

A well attended Campus meeting in December organised jointly by the ESHRE SIGs Implantation & Early Pregnancy and Endometriosis & Endometrial Disorders considered the conditions and diseases associated with recurring loss of pregnancy, and the interplay between endometrial and embryonic factors.

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SPERM DONATION

Challenges persist in the recruitment of sperm donors

A study of sperm donor applicants at a Danish and US sperm bank with the same recruitment protocols found continuing low levels of acceptance, with some explanations for the high rates of attrition apparently country-dependent; applicants who opted for ID-release were more frequently accepted than those who did not.

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UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY

Stimulated IUI outperforms expectant management in unexplained infertility with poor prognosis

A recently published clinical trial of expectant management or stimulated IUI in unexplained infertility patients with a poor outlook for natural conception confirmed the superiority of IUI. A recent editorial has proposed all such treatment should be based on an individualised prognostic approach.

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CAMPUS: ERRORS IN ART

Serious adverse-event errors are rare in ART today, but must still be reported

A Campus meeting in November organised by four ESHRE SIGs reviewed the most common source of errors in fertility clinics – in egg collection, embryo transfer and OHSS – but maintained throughout that scrupulous reporting and being honest with patients were necessary to maintain and restore trust.

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