Nina Kaminen-Ahola
Group Leader

Department of Medical
Genetics

P.O. Box 63
(Haartmaninkatu 8)
00014 University of Helsinki
Finland

nina.kaminen[at]helsinki.fi

+358 (0)50 4482768

epiART
epigenetics of assisted reproductive technology

Children born with the help of fertility treatments are generally healthy. Comparisons with children conceived spontaneously without treatments indicate that they have a slightly higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Several studies have connected fertility treatment methods to changes in the epigenome that regulates gene function in the placenta or cord blood. However, the results have been conflicting, and no extensive follow-up studies have been conducted. In order to investigate the potential effects of fertility treatments, we have launched an extensive study based on samples gathered at birth and follow-up data.

The purpose of our study is to find whether fertility treatment methods alter the epigenome and whether such changes can affect the health and development of the individual. In addition, we study whether there are differences between various fertility treatment methods and how these methods could be developed further.

We invite to participate couples who have sought help at the Family Federation’s Fertility Clinic in Helsinki or the Hormone Outpatient Clinic of the Helsinki University Central Hospital due to infertility and who are planning to have their baby at the Women’s Hospital or the Kätilöopisto Maternity Hospital. In addition, we invite to participate as a control group women whose pregnancy began spontaneously and who plan to give birth at either the Women’s Hospital or the Kätilöopisto Maternity Hospital.

The research is conducted in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, the Family Federation’s Fertility Clinic in Helsinki and the Hormone Outpatient Clinic of the Helsinki University Central Hospital. The recruitment of couples for the study commenced in summer 2014 and will continue for several years. This website contains information on our research results. We welcome not only participants but all interested parties to follow our work!

Further information on the research and participation is available from:
Nina Kaminen-Ahola, PhD tel. +358 50 4482768
Anna Tefke, research nurse, tel. +358 50 4279649