Congratulations Dr Nicole McPherson and Co-Investigators Professor Michelle Lane, Professor Gary Wittert and Dr Tod Fullston, on being awarded a Monash IVF Research and Education Foundation Grant. The $29,980 will be used to adapt the Centre’s GIRTH lifestyle modification program for a focus on reproductive health. Once developed the program will be piloted with men attending Repromed fertility clinic who are obese. The project entitled “GIRRTH (Get Involved Reach Reproductive Top Health) ultimately aims to incorporate a formal lifestyle program into clinical care to improve fertility treatment outcomes in obese men.
1 in 6 Australian couples experience infertility and male infertility constitutes approximately 50% of all cases. Male obesity is now established to be a causative factor for male factor infertility and poor pregnancy outcomes, and 25% of men attending Repromed are obese. From the work done by Professor Lane, and Drs McPherson and Fullston, in rodent models of male obesity, lifestyle interventions reduce adiposity, improve markers of sperm health and restore embryo quality and pregnancy rates. Whether this is the case in humans is unknown.
This study will pilot the modified 12 week GIRTH program, which has been shown to positively effect weight and lifestyle behaviours in men in that time. The pilot will examine first whether GIRRTH is successfully run with this patient group and secondly it will gather preliminary data to examine whether lifestyle modification impacts on sperm health and pregnancy outcomes.