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.
According to the American Heart Association, in the United States, one in three children ages 2 to 19 are overweight, and one in six are obese, which means their body mass index for their age is at or above the 95 percentile of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts. Not only is this concerning because overweight and obese children are more likely to stay this way into adulthood and develop diseases such as diabetes and heart disease at younger ages, but they are also more likely to have reproductive problems.
A recent report published in Frontiers in Endocrinology suggests that the dramatic increase in childhood obesity is related to growing problems with infertility. From1980 to 2008, the percentage of U.S. children ages 6–11 years who were obese increased from 7 percent to nearly 20 percent, and the percentage of adolescents ages 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5 percent to 18 percent.
"It certainly adds to the already numerous adverse health problems associated with obesity," says Robert Matteri, M.D., a fertility doctor and medical director of Oregon Reproductive Medicine. "Anovulation is probably the most common side effect of obesity itself. If the reproductive 'thermostat' is not set properly at the time of menarche, something that usually happens only with thin women like athletes, then this could be a lifelong problem even with further weight loss."
While it's common sense to reduce exposure to environmental toxins when trying to conceive, a new study from the University at Albany's School of Public Health published in Reproductive Toxicology finds that low levels of the toxic metals mercury and cadmium could be significantly harmful to women pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF).
"We routinely counsel our patients about toxic exposures during the IVF and pregnancy process," says Julie Tan, M.D., a fertility doctor with the Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center. "However, this preliminary study is interesting because it highlights the possible negative impact of low-level 'background' exposure in an IVF population."
The researchers adjusted for factors such as age, race and smoking, and they found that a slight increase of 1 microgram per liter (ug/L) of blood mercury is associated with a diminished likelihood of 35 percent of achieving a clinical pregnancy with IVF. Cadmium had an even larger impact — a 1 ug/L blood increase of cadmium reduced pregnancy success by 94 percent in clinical pregnancies. Clinical pregnancies are pregnancies that have the presence of a gestational sac detected by ultrasound.
A new Danish study finds that drinking five more more cups of coffee per day may cut the chances of in vitro fertilization (IVF) success in half, which is comparable to the harmful effects of smoking, according to the researchers.
The research by Fertility Clinic of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. The researchers say they were surprised by how much of an effect caffeine had.
The study was performed in a large public IVF clinic on 3,959 women having IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as fertility treatment. The scientists gathered Information on coffee consumption at the beginning of treatment and at the start of each subsequent cycle. They controlled for variables such as age, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, cause of infertility, female body mass index, ovarian stimulation and number of embryos retrieved.
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."
It's cold and flu season, and we want you to stay healthy. Here are our top six tips for staying healthy if you trying to get pregnant this winter.
1. Get a Flu Shot
A flu shot is recommended for everyone but it is especially important (and considered safe) for soon-to-be-pregnant women. Even though it's safe, if you are still uncomfortable, you can ask for the preservative-free flu shot which most doctor's offices or flu shot clinics carry.
Although many conventional doctors do not recognize candida - one of the many types of fungi that live in the intestinal tract - it is linked to endometriosis, fibroids and ovarian cysts. It also may be linked to low sperm counts and motility issues with men. It can create a hormonal imbalance in your body. A candida waste product produces a false estrogen, and the body thinks it has produced adequate estrogen levels. This signals a reduction in its own estrogen. This can lead to infertility. Candida can also be transferred to your partner during sexual intercourse.
A blog by Sarah Clark, November 14, 2014
Male exposure to pesticides is linked to altered sperm quality and sterility. Female exposure to pesticides may interfere with puberty, menstruation and ovulation, and fertility. Learn more about organic foods and how to make your diet pesticide free.