Fertility: progress and uncertainty (Oct 2014)

the lancet
Fertility: progress and uncertainty
The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9950, Page 1237, 4 October 2014


Short description:
Reproductive medicine can boast many fertility milestones in its relatively short history: the arrival of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the late 1970s; the development of intracytoplasmic sperm injection in the early 1990s; the first ovarian transplant a decade ago; and next week we will hear details of the first livebirth after uterine transplantation. No-one can be in doubt that reproductive medicine is characterised by remarkable scientific progress on a very fundamental question—the very matter of life itself.
A three-part Series about fertility preservation in this issue highlights the options available in developed countries to men and women whose fertility is compromised for medical reasons, notably in the case of cancer therapy. For boys and men, it is well known that exposure to alkylating agents and whole-body radiation can lead to infertility. Herman Tournaye and colleagues outline how sperm cryopreservation is an effective, but underused, method to safeguard spermatozoa, and comment how advances have been made in prepubertal germ cell storage aimed at later transplantation of testicular tissue and associated stem cells, although these approaches remain experimental.
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