Current Research

Below are examples of current research projects  within the Monash IVF Group

 

Understanding genetic causes of male factor infertility.

Primary Author: O’Bryan M, other articles published in 2012 on male factor infertility.

There is increasing evidence that genetic causes may underlie some male factor infertility. Studies are being conducted to better understand these genetic causes and whether there is any possibility of transmission of infertility to the offspring.

 

Improving male factor infertility

Primary Author: MacLachlan R

Can the use of antioxidants in men who have known sperm DNA damage improve live birth rates? This study is a placebo controlled trial where men are randomised to receive an antioxidant or a placebo to assess the effectiveness of this medication on improving birth rates.

 

Ongoing health comparisons between children born to assisted reproductive technology (ART) and those who are not

Primary Author: Halliday J

This follow up study looked at the physical health and psycho-social well being of young adults born from ART up to 20 years ago. These longitudinal studies are essential to determining the long term health outcomes of babies conceived through ART.

 

Tracking the health and well being of young children born from Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Primary Author: Amor, D

This study is assessing the health and well being of 5-8 year olds conceived following pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (as an embryo). It is important to determine the ongoing health and development of these children.

 

Understanding the factors which contribute to a healthy (receptive) uterine lining (endometrium).

Primary Author: Salamonsen, L

This study aims to identify specific factors which contribute to an improved endometrial lining at the time of implantation. The goal is to develop a simple test in the future which could tell whether the lining is ready to accept an embryo.

 

Understanding the impact that assisted reproductive technology (ART) has on the placenta

Primary Author: Stefan, W

This study looks at the special proteins in the human placenta to determine whether there is any effect on the placenta from different types of ART treatments.

 

Development of a new blood test to help in the diagnosis of tubal factor infertility

Primary Author: Huston, W

This study aims to identify special proteins in the blood that arise when an infection has occurred. The development of a new diagnostic blood test will hopefully lead to less invasive procedures for women undertaking ART in the future.

 

Do adult stem cells in the uterus have a role in preparing the lining (endometrium) for implantation

Primary Author: Gargett, C

This study has identified special cells in the lining of the uterus which are believed responsible for thickening the endometrial lining to prepare for implantation of an embryo. The research aims to determine if there is an association between the number of these cells and the preparedness of the uterus for implantation.

 

Is the heart rate of IVF conceived foetuses at 7 weeks predictive of a successful first trimester pregnancy? 

Primary Author: Sujenthiran P

Studies done on the heart rate of the foetus conceived naturally are well documented and understood but there is little work done on the significance of the early foetal heart beat rate on ongoing pregnancy rate up to 12 weeks. This study hopes to establish whether the heart rate is predictive or not of a successful first trimester pregnancy.

 

The experience of surrogacy from start to end

Primary Author: Gonclaves, C

This project hopes to understand the experiences of all the parties involved in this arrangement throughout the entire process. This will help Monash IVF staff to better counsel and support people in the future who enter into a surrogacy program.

 

Additional therapy in IVF

Primary Author: Rombauts, L

Additional medicines may be prescribed in the assisted reproductive cycle alongside the standard treatment regimes. It is essential to determine whether the additions of these medicines to standard treatment are safe and have any impact on the outcomes.

 

Complementary Medicine and Therapies in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

Primary Author: Philips S

This survey hopes to identify what percentage of people undertaking ART use complementary medicines alongside standard therapy. This knowledge will assist our understanding of attitudes and beliefs around the use of these types of therapy in this population.

 

Ultrasound assessment of the foetal brain to predict neural (spinal) tube defect

Primary Author: Finn, M

Ultrasound scanning remains the best way of assessing structural problems of the foetus early in pregnancy. Ongoing research in this area increases our knowledge of what to look for in the first trimester scan and how to predict possible structural abnormalities early in life. Measurements of specific areas of the brain in the first trimester may help predict neural tube defects which are normally not identified till mid trimester (13-24 weeks).

 

Reducing uterine contractions prior to embryo transfer: Are implantation rates improved in healthy women with good quality embryos?

Primary contact: Deborah de Guingand

This is a randomised placebo controlled trial which assesses the safety and effectiveness of a new drug designed to improve implantation rates in women who have had unsuccessful stimulated IVF cycles. The drug works by reducing the contractions in the uterus prior to the transfer of the embryo.

 

Women’s experience coping with a diagnosis of a foetal abnormality

Primary author: Menezes, M

A small percentage of women will experience the distress of being told there is something wrong with the baby early in pregnancy. As perinatal diagnostic tests improve, so does our ability to identify problems early in life. This study hopes to understand the impact this has on women and understand the type of support, both short and long term that is in place for women to cope with this event.