This Week In Genetics (and Fertility)

By CooperGenomics — February 13, 2016

1 min read

A little less genetics, a little more fertility this week.

Amazing news for our troops and reproductive advocates!

The Secretary of Defense announced a new program that would cover the cost for troops to freeze their eggs or sperm. The Department of Defense is prepared to navigate the difficult ethical and legal questions that may arise if for example, troop members are hurt during service. The program aims to recruit and maintain more women in the military along with other efforts such as longer maternity leave.

The Department of Defense is joining companies like Facebook and Google which are now covering the costs of egg freezing. It will be interesting to see whether more companies will join in on this trend.

A “world first” in male fertility:

SwimCount, the first home sperm test is being released in the UK. Okay, this isn’t the first home sperm test. There have been sperm count tests in the past but SwimCount is the first to also report information about sperm quality. Why should we be excited about this? This test takes into account the importance of sperm motility in affecting conception. It’s estimated that male infertility plays a role in up to half of all cases of infertility. Access to home sperm tests like SwimCount could help couples better understand their fertility before conception or before seeking fertility treatments.

Women with asthma could have trouble getting pregnant:

A recent study done at the Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen provides significant evidence to the suggested link between asthma and infertility. The study followed 245 women with undiagnosed infertility during and after fertility treatments. Of those women, 96 (roughly 40%) had been diagnosed with asthma. The median time it took for the women diagnosed with asthma was 20 months longer than that for women without asthma.

The doctors involved in the study advise women with asthma to strictly abide by their treatment before trying to conceive. Still more research must be done to understand the cause-and-effect relationship between asthma and infertility.