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Elsie Experiences Infertility, Too

An inside look at animal infertility

At TFC, we remind our patients that 1 in 7 couples will encounter family-building challenges. The reproductive system is complex, and any number of problems can occur in humans. However, we aren’t alone. Animal infertility can also occur.

Did you know that assisted reproductive technologies and embryology plays a leading role in the animal kingdom, too? We can learn from the research generated by the animal sciences field.


Animal infertility – Take a fertility field trip to the San Antonio Zoo

Stop in the education center at larger zoos and animal conservation theme parks (Disney’s Animal Kingdom and San Antonio’s Sea World, for example). It will give you a greater understanding of reproductive biology, and research that benefits both human and animal infertility

See the following examples of animal infertility.

  • We know that an above-normal body mass index (BMI) in humans can cause ovulation disorders and infertility. The same is true for the largest land animal in the world—the African elephant. Zoologists fear that a rise in obesity rates in African elephants in U.S. zoos will threaten the species’ survival. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are working on stabilizing weight in elephants to keep their ovarian cycles on track.
  • Researchers at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are studying environmental effects on the fertility of both humans and animals.
  • The South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation supports conservation efforts with fertility assessments, egg freezing and hormone monitoring at several well-known zoos and preserves, including the Dallas Zoo. Read more here about work with jaguars, gorillas, river otters and panthers.

Cheetahs are known for poor semen quality. Hooved animals need active sex lives to maintain reproductive health. Naked mole rats have one queen (surrogate) in the colony to give birth to all of the babies. Despite the obstacles, advances in reproductive medicine shared among the scientific community can lead to positive outcomes.

Of course, there is no comparison between the effects of infertility on animals and humans. The strong desire to have a baby and build a family sets us apart.

What makes TFC unique?

Extensive fellowship training in human reproductive endocrinology, research efforts and clinical experience has led to successful pregnancies and happy endings for over 30 years.

Contact us for a consultative appointment with TFC in San Antonio, Austin or Round Rock.

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