The National Laboratory for Human Reproduction (HRNL) has recently been established under the leadership of the University of Pécs. The main objective of the institution is to help tens of thousands of Hungarian couples who cannot have children by bringing together most of Hungary’s research on infertility.
“Infertility is a huge problem in every civilized country. Excessive reproduction is a problem in overpopulated countries, and low birth rates are a problem in many western countries,” says Gábor L. Kovács, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pécs and project manager of the National Laboratory for Human Reproduction.
“In Hungary, fertility disorders are the main source of problems, as 15 percent of couples wanting to have a child cannot achieve this dream. This means 100-150,000 couples in the country, which is, based on the average size of families, 300 thousand potential children,” Kovács adds.
The fact that “only” 15% of couples are unable to have a child for biological reasons and not more, shows that medicine is already capable of much in this field today. However, this ratio could be lowered.
We still do not know enough about the global causes of infertility which further proves the need for HRNL. Just like with all health problems, genetic and environmental factors are at the root, but how their effects are shared and how they interact with one another is often unknown.
The decades-old research activity on reproduction at the University of Pécs, which also covered both theoretical and clinical research on infertility, provides a sufficient basis for achieving this goal.
The research community at the center of HRNL has been working together in Pécs for at least eight years, and reproduction researchers in Pécs have won research grants in virtually every application system. About a hundred researchers from the three faculties of the university have participated in the research programs so far.
The most ambitious undertaking of the newly founded HRNL according to professor Kovács, is the possibility of uterine and ovarian transplantation, as it will be the first time such a procedure will be available in Hungary.
The Orbán government has long been aiming to halt population decline with several different measures. As part of this effort, the comprehensive National Human Reproduction Program was announced at the end of last year to support and help infertile couples. The current research program began in July this year and will last until the end of 2023, with a budget of HUF 2.5 billion in state support.
Featured photo by Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI