Tag Archives: sperm

Substitutes: The demand for foreign embryos, eggs, sperm is increasing in New Zealand | Instant News

The demand for embryos to be sent to New Zealand from abroad to bear children has increased due to Covid-19. Photo / 123rf

Demand for embryos, eggs and sperm to be shipped to New Zealand has increased as Kiwis are no longer able to travel for fertility treatment abroad due to Covid-19.

But getting valuable cargo into the countryside in an attempt to create babies has become much more difficult.

Finding surrogate mothers or egg or sperm donors in New Zealand can be difficult, partly because paying them is illegal here. Most of the surrogate is someone parents know, but there is an increasing trend of people turning to the internet to find someone.

Prior to Covid, many expectant parents went to specialized clinics abroad where commercial surrogacy was legal and where embryo transfers would take place.

Dr Mary Birdsall, group director of Fertility Associates, said parents should rethink the process.

“We are seeing more and more demand from all kinds of different fertility treatments involving offshore clinics. So, people who want to send eggs, sperm, embryos around the world … and to New Zealand. I think Covid has made it a very nice landscape. more challenging. “

Specialized companies that usually have staff accompanying goods on board cannot provide that service, which creates a risk.

“The options for transferring embryos around the world are becoming much more limited and more expensive.

“What used to happen before Covid was you basically paid a courier to personally carry your embryos in a small portable freezing device. You can’t do that right now, unless they’re ready for quarantine.”

It is also likely that the operator will not receive an exemption from the New Zealand Government from being allowed into the country.

Some companies do offer unaccompanied transport services, Birdsall said, but he warns: “When they are so valuable, it only adds to the element of risk.”

The director of the Fertility Association group, Dr. Mary Birdsall.  Photo / Provided
The director of the Fertility Association group, Dr. Mary Birdsall. Photo / Provided

Fertility Associates makes 80 percent of surrogate applications to the New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Technology Ethics Committee, the body that considers and approves them for fertility clinics.

An Ecart spokesperson said they were still counting the number of substitutes approved in 2020 but there were 15 in the year to June 2016 and 14 in the year to June 2019.

Fertility Associates said the company submitted 25 applications to Ecart for surrogacy last year. All are approved, and one is suspended.

Attorney Margaret Casey QC, who has acted for targeted parents involving the birth of more than 100 children born via surrogacy in recent years, at home and abroad, said the US had been popular with Kiwis for finding surrogacy and for transfers. embryo. Most of the states were called “surrogate friend states.”

Attorney Margaret Casey.  Photo / Provided
Attorney Margaret Casey. Photo / Provided

“This means that it is regulated in that state, usually resulting in the parent in question having the first US birth certificate. There are still a few states in the US that transfer parents by adoption. Canada, Ukraine, and Georgia are also countries where People parents in New Zealand are looking for. If New Zealanders have cultural links with a country where surrogacy is approved, I also look at cases of surrogacy in that country. For example, South Africa, Namibia and Vietnam. follow so that surrogacy occurs legally. “

Many countries do not recognize surrogate mothers. In some countries, such as New Zealand, parents must adopt a child born through a surrogate mother, even if it is their biological child.

But she said it was difficult to see trends in surrogacy over the past year because of Covid.

“Obviously it is difficult to travel to other countries to make embryos with your genetic material during this time of Covid. It is difficult for surrogate mothers to go to the clinic for transfer due to internal travel restrictions and it is a very stressful time trying to manage a pregnancy remotely. “

Producing birth certificates and passports in countries that have been covered by Covid is also “very stressful”.

“The irony is because Covid surrogacy is more attractive in some overseas countries simply because the pace of life is slowing down and it might be a good time to get pregnant if that is something you are considering.”

She is calling for changes around reimbursement of a woman who agrees to act as reimbursement for pregnancy expenses.

“It doesn’t commercialize the pregnancy – it just prevents a person from going backwards because of the contribution. It’s too difficult to meet these costs under the current rules and that has to change.”


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New Zealand scientists studying sperm whales on their Antarctic voyage | Instant News

Sperm whales can dive to a depth of 3000m. Photo / NIWA

New Zealand scientists will leave Wellington next month with the tail of a sperm whale off Antarctica.

A program led by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) will take 20 scientists on the Tangaroa research vessel to the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

NIWA’s principal scientist, Matthew Pinkerton, is leaving on a 40-day expedition, which will be the third in a series of four voyages.

On previous trips, they set up moorings with hydrophones attached, to listen to the sound of sperm whales on the shores of the Ross Sea – the best way to count how many there are in the area.

“The first mooring dropped in 2018, we got it back in 2019 and several new moorings were installed,” he said.

“So when we go there in 2021, we’re going to take that mooring from two years ago so we’re really excited to see what sounds the sperm whale might pick up.

“This will definitely show us if there are a few sperm whales there and at what time of year they are there.”

Sperm whales are not like seals in that they cannot punch holes in the ice, so they have to find holes in the ice so they can get out for air.

Pinkerton says at some point in the year there may be too much ice for sperm whales to survive, so their research is critical to determining where these populations are.

“They have moorings at different latitudes, so a certain distance south. We wanted to see if sea ice affects where sperm whales go at different times of the year.”

Although old records and surveys suggest the Ross Sea is a hotspot for sperm whales, Pinkerton said people stationed on research and fishing vessels in the area rarely report seeing them.

Giacomo Giorli marine mammal acoustics with passive acoustic mooring.  Photo / NIWA
Giacomo Giorli marine mammal acoustics with passive acoustic mooring. Photo / NIWA

“We are very interested in finding out why we didn’t see any sightings of the sperm whales, but we think they were there,” he said.

“We’re really excited to try to look at that data and try to put down another piece of the puzzle and try to figure out the life cycle and emergence of these sperm whales.”

Sperm whales – particularly the large male whales that eat toothfish in the Ross Sea – were subject to the whaling industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, causing more than 70 percent of their population to disappear. They are now classified as vulnerable.

Pinkerton said the species was “cryptic.”

“We don’t really know their annual cycle – where their populations are concentrated and how different groups of whales interact.”

Scientists know that whales eat a lot of fish with teeth, and can dive to a depth of 3000m to find them.

“The abundance of dental fish on the slopes of the Ross Sea has diminished due to fishing and will continue to decrease in the future,” he said.

“We want to know if it affects the sperm whales there.”

“To do that, we need to look at where they are now and look for ways to monitor changes in the future.”

The Tangaroa research vessel will leave Wellington on 8 January, and return on 17 February.


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The researchers developed a safe and accurate 3D imaging method to improve IVF treatment | Instant News

Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers have developed a safe and accurate 3D imaging method to identify sperm cells that move at high speed.

Research, a study published in Progress of Science on April 10th, led by Prof. Natan Shaked from the Biomedical Engineering Department at the TAU Faculty of Engineering along with TAU doctoral student, Gili Dardikman-Yoffe.

This new technology can give doctors the ability to choose high-quality sperm to be injected into eggs during IVF treatment, potentially increasing a woman’s chances of getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby.

The IVF procedure was created to help with fertility problems. The most common type of IVF today is intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which involves sperm selection by clinical embryologists and injection into a woman’s egg. For this reason, an attempt is made to select the sperm cells most likely to make healthy embryos. “

Natan Shaked, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, TAU

Under natural fertilization in a woman’s body, the fastest sperm to reach the egg should contain high-quality genetic material. This progressive movement allows the “best” sperm to overcome the real obstacles of the female reproductive system.

“But this ‘natural selection’ is not available to embryologists, who choose sperm and inject it into the egg,” Prof. Shaked “Sperm cells are not only fast-moving, they are also mostly transparent under ordinary light microscopy, and cell staining is not permitted in human IVF.

“Existing imaging technology that can check the quality of sperm genetic material can cause embryonic damage, so it is also banned. In the absence of more precise criteria, sperm cells are chosen primarily according to their external characteristics and motility when swimming in water in the dish, which is very different from the natural environment of a woman’s body.

“In our research, we are trying to develop a completely new type of imaging technology that will provide as much information as possible about individual sperm cells, does not require cell staining to increase contrast, and has the potential to enable optimal sperm selection in fertilizing treatments.”

The researchers chose light computed tomography (CT) technology for the unique task of imaging sperm cells.

“In a standard medical CT scan, the device rotates around the subject and sends X-rays that produce several projections, ultimately creating a 3D image of the body,” said Prof. Shaked “In the case of sperm, instead of turning the device around this small subject, we rely on the natural feature of the sperm itself: its head continues to rotate during forward movement.

“We use weak light (and not X-rays), which does not damage cells. We record holographic sperm cells during ultra-fast motion and identify various internal components according to their refractive index. This creates an accurate, highly dynamic 3D map of the contents without using cell staining. “

Using this technique, the researchers obtained clear and accurate CT images of sperm at very high resolutions in four dimensions: three dimensions in space with a resolution of less than half a micron (one micron equals one millionth of a meter) and the exact time dimension (motion) of a sub second millisecond.

“Our new development provides a comprehensive solution to many known sperm imaging problems,” said Prof. Shaked “We are able to make high-resolution imaging of the sperm head when moving fast, without the need for stains that can harm the embryo. This new technology can greatly improve sperm cell selection in vitro, which has the potential to increase the chances of pregnancy and the birth of healthy babies.

“To help diagnose male fertility problems, we intend to use our new technique to explain the relationship between 3D motion, the structure and contents of sperm and its ability to fertilize an egg and produce a proper pregnancy,” Prof. Shaked concluded. “We believe that such imaging capabilities will contribute to other medical applications, such as developing efficient biomimetic micro robots to carry drugs in the body.”


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Khloe Kardashian chose Tristan Thompson as a sperm donor | Entertainment | Instant News

Khloe Kardashian has chosen Tristan Thompson as a sperm donor.

The 35-year-old reality TV star froze the embryo to potentially have a second baby, and the basketball star – with whom she has a two-year-old daughter True – will help in the process, even though she has doubts about her involvement.

In the final episode of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’, Khloe shared: “I might be able to freeze 25 eggs, but that doesn’t mean that any of them will end up healthy.

“The only way to have knowledge that you have strong embryos is if you mix eggs and sperm together – and if you are going through this process, you want to get past it with the best guarantee that it will be successful at the end of the day.

“What if you are 40 and you want to thaw your eggs and make embryos and they tell you, ‘Ah! Well, all your eggs are ugly!’ It’s like tug of war and I don’t know what to do. “

Khloe discussed this issue – and the identity of its donors – with his sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner.

He said: “I’ve been doing hormone injections for about five days and the injection process is fine. I don’t know why, I like, ‘Oh, okay, it’s not that bad.’

“I have a sperm donor. Yes, Tristan.”

However, the TV star admitted the scenario was “strange” because she and Tristan were no longer together.

Speaking to his sister, he explained: “He had to sign, like, a legal document that he would only be my sperm donor.

“But you never know. What if, in three years, I married someone and I said, ‘You know, I don’t want that.'”

The 29-year-old sportsman – who separated from Khloe after he kissed the Jordyn Woods model – promised to support his ex-girlfriend through the process.

He told him: “I am open to doing that and come down to do that.

“In the end, I want anything that will make you feel comfortable and also make you feel the safest and everything, that’s what I do with … so however I can help.

“When I come out in the summer I can do it and we can go from there.”

Khloe also hinted they could reignite their romance in the future.

He said: “I don’t know what the future holds for Tristan and me, but I really think I would feel much better knowing I have five embryos in the freezer somewhere.”


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