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a blog by Kim Griffiths, May 15, 2013
May 12-18 is National Women’s Health Week, so now is the time to think about ways your health could impact your fertility and how you can optimize your chances of having a baby.
There are several unsuspecting health conditions that impact fertility and pregnancy. Conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, and endocrine system hormone imbalances can contribute to infertility. All medical conditions should be discussed with your fertility doctor, and you should discuss any medications you may be taking to assess potential risks to fertility and pregnancy.
a blog by Mylene Yao, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Univfy, Inc., May 13, 2013
In the first two posts, we looked at ovarian factors and sperm factors that impact your chance of becoming pregnant with IVF. In this post, we’ll examine other non-reproductive system fertility factors that can affect your personal probability of getting pregnant with IVF.
The HFEA (the independent regulator for IVF treatment and embryo research in the UK) has now agreed on the acceptable ethics and science of new IVF-based techniques designed to avoid serious mitochondrial diseases.
In January 2012, the British Government asked the HFEA to use its experience of public engagement on controversial scientific developments to collect the general view on mitochondria replacement. It also asked for updated advice on the safety and efficacy of this potential treatment.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, January 23, 2013
Healthy Weight Week, January 20-27th, encourages women to not only focus on losing weight and eating a healthy diet, but also to prevent over-exercising and calorie restriction.
Few people realize how overall health ties to fertility. What I’ve discovered through my own experience with infertility and through several interviews with doctors across the country regarding weight and ovulation, is that the right amount of diet and exercise are essential for cardiovascular health and anything that benefits your heart, also benefits your fertility.
Recent studies and reviews indicate that the benefits of antidepressant therapy far outweigh the potential marginal risks. This is good news because increasing numbers of women — and a significant percentage of reproductive age women — are using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) to treat anxiety, depression and certain personality disorders. The brand names for these medications include: Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil and Celexa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported (Callaghan et al, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Nov 2012) that serious complications during childbirth such as heart attack, stroke, hemorrhage, and kidney failure are up 75% (yes SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT) in 2008-2009 compared to a decade ago. Post delivery complications rose 114% (one hundred fourteen percent) in the same time frame.
a blog by Claire, September 13, 2012
A new study sheds light on why obesity affects fertility treatment success. Researchers found that eggs from obese women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) were of poorer quality with more than one spindle and disorganized chromosomes.
The study, which was published in the journal Human Reproducton was conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, who examined 276 mature human eggs that failed to fertilize from women who were undergoing IVF. Of these eggs, 105 were from severely obese women with a body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 50.1. There were 171 eggs were from women with a normal BMI, defined as between 18.5 and 24.9.
a blog by Claire, August 21, 2012
This week in the UK's Daily Mail, the headline Can YOUR lipstick give you heart problems? sparked plenty of worry among those of us who put on a slash of color every day.
What sparked the concern? A study out of the University of California, Davis, and the University of Colorado and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that triclosan — a ubiquitous antibacterial chemical found in hand soaps, lipsticks and other personal care products — slows swimming in fish and reduces muscular strength in mice. In experiments, triclosan impaired the ability of isolated heart muscle cells and skeletal muscle fibers to contract. The researchers said the effects on cardiac function were really dramatic and acted as a cardiac depressant.
a blog by Suzanne Rico, August 2, 2012
I never blamed my shampoo for the fact that I couldn’t get pregnant. Nor did I think my perfume might be the sweet smelling culprit, or the sunscreen I should have started using at 15 instead of 30. And while I did somehow intuit that the nasty smell of nail polish fumes would not have the same health benefits as, say, a pristine pine forest, I liked my toe-and-fingernails Ballet Slipper pink, so I didn’t worry about it.
Maybe I should have. Earlier this year, The European Environment Agency (the equivalent to America’s Environmental Protection Agency) warned against using cosmetics and medicines that contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), saying they “may be a contributing factor behind the significant increases in cancers, diabetes and obesity, falling fertility and an increased number of neurological development problems in both humans and animals.” Yikes!
As summer begins to wane, you may be hoping you can hold on to that summer glow with "safe" tanning via spray tans or sunless tanning products. I would advise against this, particularly if you are trying to conceive or undergoing fertility treatment.
Recently, European health officials issued a warning about these fake tanning products. The warning is for lotions and sprays that have dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient. DHA is a colorless sugar that interacts with the dead cells located in the upper layer of the epidermis, and this causes a color change.
As consumers of media, we love to examine all things related to Mom. Time Magazine’s “Are You Mom Enough?” broke down attachment mothering, a parenting philosophy with little regard for personal space for mom and child. While the psychological affects — positive and negative — are still being determined, we as a public have already moved on to the next motherhood debate: fetal origins.
The June issue of Vogue included a remarkable article about fetal origins titled “Destiny’s Child,” which summarizes some of the recent studies linking the fetus' experience in utero to their mental and physical health after labor and throughout their lives. As the article discusses, the common but outdated metaphor for fetuses is that of a parasite: they take what they need, leeching from Mom nutrients, oxygen and anything else that is essential to the creation of life. The article goes on to discuss the new opinions that indicate this notion is overly simplistic; scientists are still learning just how far-reaching the gestational experience is to determining who we are.
a blog by Claire, June 27, 2012
Remember Scarlett O'Hara's 18 inch waist? Marilyn Monroe's hourglass figure? Those days appear to be long past.
In Britain, a warning was recently issued to women about their growing waistlines and "apple-shaped" figures. The warning was issued by Nuffield Health, the United Kingdom's largest health care charity, after analyzing data from more than 54,000 women taking the Nuffield Health MOT, which is a series of tests to assess overall fitness and health. The researchers are very concerned about the health risks that extra fat around the waist imposes on women — including the havoc it can wreak on fertility.
Nuffield Health found that more than half — 57 percent — of the women had waist sizes that put them in the high health risk category for diseases such as infertility, cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A healthy waist size is 31.5 inches or less — the average British woman's waist measured 2 inches more.
America would fare much worse in a study such as this. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average waist circumference for women over 20 is 37 inches. "in the USA, the incidence of overweight adults is 74 percent, making the United States the ninth most overweight country in the world," says Beth Hartog, M.D., a fertility doctor with East Coast Infertility & IVF. "In the UK, only 64 percent of adults are overweight, ranking England 28th on the list of overweight countries."
Approximately 23 percent of American women smoke cigarettes. The possible reasons smoking effects fertility are:
- damage to fallopian tubes,
- changes in the cervix,
- damage to eggs, and
- increase in miscarriage and/or ectopic (in the tube) pregnancies.
a blog by Claire, June 6, 2012
The sexually transmitted disease (STD) gonorrhea is a very common infectious disease that can cause infertility. The disease, which is typically treated with antibiotics, is now the subject of a World Health Organization warning about cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, which could leave millions of people worldwide without any treatment options.
a blog by Serena H. Chen, M.D., IRMS Reproductive Medicine at Saint Barnabas, July 28, 2011
There is a big debate among physicians who specialize in treating infertile people all around the world today: Should we treat people who are severely overweight? Or should we require them to lose weight before they conceive?
Obesity Has a Negative Impact on Fertility
I periodically get asked why the number of people coping with fertility issues — estimated in 2002 to be at 7.3 million in the United States — is increasing. Of course it’s true that more women than ever are waiting until they are older to bear children, and it’s harder to do so after age 35, and especially after 40. But the reason I often point to is: pollution.
Can your weight affect your fertility? The short answer is YES.
Fat is an endocrine organ, and if you have too much of it, or too little, it can affect your reproductive function in many different ways.
by Cindy Bailey of the Fertile Kitchen™, April 9, 2010
We all know we shouldn’t drink while pregnant, primarily because of the effects alcohol can have on the unborn child, not to mention the increased risk for miscarriage. But what about while trying to conceive? Can alcohol affect fertility?
It sure can—in both men and women.