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.
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.
Around the world, there are more aging people and fewer young people to take care of them. A new study about the trend suggests this demographic shift could drag down the global economy. The report is called "The Sustainable Demographic Dividend." Co-author Phillip Longman, a senior research fellow with the New America Foundation, talks to Lynn Neary about the study.
In a study focusing purely on the way women talk over the course of a month, researchers found that the female voice is not a reliable predictor of ovulation. Those results support the theory that, in our species, women tend to conceal the timing of their fertility so that men will be more likely to stick with them for the long haul.
The risk of infertility from cancer treatment may be much higher than doctors and patients realize, and almost all women diagnosed in their 20s and 30s who want children someday should be given the option of freezing their eggs or embryos, Bay Area fertility experts say.
There have been many attempts to explain the evolutionary mystery of female orgasm. One, suggested by Desmond Morris in his 1967 popular-science book "The Naked Ape," was that the female orgasm evolved to encourage physical intimacy with a male partner and helps reinforce the pair bond. Other theories are based on the idea that the female orgasm might increase fertility. For example, a 30 percent reduction in size of the vagina could help clench onto the penis which would make it more stimulating for the male.
Women who undergo chemotherapy may suffer more damage to their reproductive health than previously believed. That’s the suggestion of a new study conducted by researchers from the Univeristy of California, San Franciso and published online in the journal Cancer. The researchers found chemotherapy essentially narrows a woman’s reproductive window by causing a range of damage to the ovaries, even if her menses resume after treatment.
Creating a video with a woman dressed as a bird and a man dressed as, yes, a bee — rapping, no less, about their inability to conceive — was a bit of risky venture. But that’s just what the pharmaceutical company EMD Serono, maker of a fertility drug called Gonal-f, has done. The video, “Early Bird Catches the Sperm” and posted on the Facebook page “Birds & Bees: The Real Story,” is meant to raise awareness and to encourage couples having difficulty conceiving to consult a reproductive endocrinologist.
Scientists have uncovered exactly how a human egg captures an incoming sperm to begin the process of fertilization and say their discovery could in future help couples who suffer from infertility. In a study in the journal Science, an international team of researchers found that a specific kind of sugar molecule makes the outer coat of the egg “sticky,” helping the egg and sperm bind together.
Women starting families today might not think they have a lot in common with women during the Great Depression, but a new government analysis of birth data suggests otherwise. The struggling economy may be causing women of childbearing age to have fewer or no children, suggests demographer Sharon Kirmeyer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead author of two reports out Thursday that analyzed historical childbearing data. Census data show that in 2010, 18.8 percent of women ages 40 to 44 were childless, echoing a trend from the 1930s found in the CDC analysis. The U.S.