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It's Not Women's Careers that Delay Children, Says Study

Herald Sun,  Nov 8, 2011

A study published this month in the Journal of Population Health found most women aged between 30 and 34 want to have children, but could not for reasons often out of their control. It dispelled the image of hordes of "selfish" women deferring children for their careers. Only 20 of the 569 Australian women surveyed by Jean Hailes for Women's Health researchers said they did not want to have any children.

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What's Your Fertility Age?

The Sun,  Nov 2, 2011

Sun Woman asked five women between 25 and 32 to take tests to give a UK snapshot of fertility. The Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Test gives an estimate of the woman's remaining egg supply, or "ovarian reserve." The shocking results revealed four out of the five women had a LOW egg reserve result.

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ASRM Conference IVF Research Round-Up

The latest news on in vitro fertilizaton

At the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in Orlando, several interesting new studies have been presented on in vitro fertilization (IvF). Here's a round-up.

Reducing the number of multiple births. The Practice Committees of the ASRM and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) issued a report calling for an increase in the use of elective single embryo transfer (SET) in good prognosis patients undergoing IVF. The committee examined a variety of studies to evaluate single vs. double embryo transfers. They concluded that in good prognosis patients transferring one embryo could dramatically reduce the rate of multiples while maintaining high pregnancy rates.Factors the committee cited for determining if the patient was a good candidate for single embryo transfer included:

  • patient under 35
  • more than one high quality embryo available for transfer
  • women in their first or second IVF treatment cycle
  • women with prior successful IVF cycles
  • recipients of donated eggs

For Cancer Patients Facing Infertility, New Program Offers Free Help

Parade,  Oct 13, 2011

Six months ago, Dr. Drew Tortoriello founded Fertility Rescue, a program available at Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine's locations throughout the country, which will harvest and freeze the eggs or sperm of cancer patients for thousands of dollars less than what it would normally cost. Many of the services, such as pulling the eggs out and the anesthesiology, are completely free of charge, while others, like some drugs and storage, can cost.

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In Tough Economy, Americans Having Fewer Babies

CNN,  Oct 12, 2011

In 2007, there were 69.7 babies per 1,000 women of childbearing age. Provisional data for 2010 showed that number had dropped to 64.7. A decline in fertility rates that began in 2008 is closely linked to financial woes that started at the same time, said a new Pew Research Center report issued Wednesday. Changes in personal income, per capita GDP, unemployment rates and claims, and state-level foreclosure rates all had an effect.

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Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Genes Have a Link to Fertility

UK Press,  Oct 11, 2011

Genes that increase a woman's risk of breast and ovarian cancer also make her more fertile, according to researchers. Women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are more likely to have children who could develop the diseases, and the fact that the genes have not been "weeded out" by natural selection indicates they may confer advantages as well as harmful effects. University of Utah scientists found that women possessing genes bore significantly more children, especially those born before 1930 who lacked access to modern contraception.

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DES Babies Face Increased Infertility, Breast Cancer Risk and More

Throughout the years, we have heard many concerns about the effects of diethylstilbestrol, known as DES, a synthetic form of estrogen used from the 1940s to the early 1970s to prevent certain complications of pregnancy, such as miscarriage. In 1971, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified physicians that DES should not be prescribed to pregnant women after discovery of a rare form of vaginal cancer in the daughters of women who took DES; however, that left between 5 million and 10 million pregnant women and babies who had been exposed to the drug.

Now, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) study has followed the daughters of mothers given DES while pregnant. They found that exposure to the drug while in utero is associated with many reproductive problems and an increased risk of certain cancers and pre-cancerous conditions. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine involved more than 6,500 women (4,600 exposed and 1,900 unexposed and showed that the women exposed had an increased risk of 12 medical conditions.

“Our study carefully documents elevated risk for DES-exposed daughters for a host of medical problems—many of them also quite common in the general population,” said study author Robert N. Hoover, M.D., director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Older Mothers, the Economy and the Fertility Class Divide

Image of Fertility, Infertility

With a photoshopped cover of a 63-year-old model striking a Demi Moore pose, New York Magazine’s "Parents of a Certain Age" article raised important points and set off a national debate over when is a woman too old to have children.

Unfortunately, in today’s economic and social climate, when many women are ready to be mothers, their bodies are not as young and fertile anymore. U.S. births fell from 4.37 million in 2007 to 4.01 million in 2010, and from 2007 to 2010, the U.S. total fertility rate fell 10 percent — to below two births per woman. However, Americans still believe that two or more children is ideal, according to a new study, “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend: What Do Marriage & Fertility Have To Do With the Economy?"

The study found that among developed countries, over the next two decades, the United States will be one of the only countries to maintain fertility levels close to the replacement level of 2.1 — but only if the U.S. economy does not stagnate or fall back into recession. “Even though couples and women are having fewer children today because of the fallout associated with the recession, most Americans of childbearing age think that having two or more children is ideal,” said Dr. Sam Sturgeon, director of research for Demographic Intelligence, LLC, a provider of U.S. birth forecasts and U.S. fertility analytics for companies.

'DES Daughters' Prone to Cancer, Fertility Woes

AFP,  Oct 5, 2011

Women whose mothers took a synthetic estrogen called DES before it was discontinued in 1971 have been found to suffer from a variety of fertility problems and cancers, according to a major new study. The study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine examines the daughters of females exposed in the womb to diethylstilbestrol (DES), which was prescribed in the mistaken belief it could reduce certain complications of pregnancy.

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FDA Adds Fertility Risk Warning to Label for the Cancer Drug Avastin

Wall Street Journal,  Oct 5, 2011

The FDA has added a new warning about the risk of "ovarian failure" to the label for the cancer drug Avastin, and it recommended doctors tell women of child-bearing age before they start treatment about the possibility that Avastin can cause ovaries to stop releasing eggs regularly. Avastin is approved to treat certain types of lung, brain, kidney, colon and breast cancers. However, in the U.S., the company is fighting to keep the FDA from revoking the approval for breast cancer. The label update announced Tuesday is separate from that pending decision.

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