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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > EndocrinologyFertility and pregnancy


Fertility and pregnancy

Epilepsy Drug Poses High Risk for Fetal Death and Birth Defects

Fertility and pregnancyAug 07 06

The epilepsy drug valproate poses a higher risk for fetal death and birth defects than other commonly used epilepsy drugs, according to a study published in the August 8, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Of the four epilepsy drugs tested in the study, valproate posed the highest risk to the fetus with over 20 percent of the pregnancies exposed to valproate resulting in death or birth defects such as skull and limb deformities and brain, heart and lung problems.

The rate was lower for the drugs phenytoin, carbamazepine and lamotrigine. The study’s findings are consistent with several other recent studies.

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Cheaper IVF deal on offer when women donate eggs for stem cell research

Fertility and pregnancyJul 31 06

British women undergoing IVF procedures will soon be able to subsidise their treatment by donating some of their eggs to research.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has granted a licence to the North East England Stem Cell Institute to allow them to approach women undergoing IVF to donate eggs for therapeutic cloning research in exchange for cheaper treatment.

Therapeutic cloning involves creating early embryos to obtain stem cells, the master cells in the body that can develop into any other cell type in order to treat diseases.

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In vitro fertilisation could be causing genetic errors in embryo

Fertility and pregnancyJun 21 06

The conditions in which embryos are cultured in the laboratory during in vitro fertilisation could be causing genetic errors that are associated with certain developmental syndromes and other abnormalities in growth and development, such as low birth weight.

Researchers told the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that preliminary work investigating genetic imprinting in mouse embryos had shown that certain culture media and concentrations of oxygen altered the expression of several imprinted genes.

Imprinting is the process by which some genes are activated or inactivated depending on whether they have been inherited in chromosomes from the mother or the father.

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New technique will screen embryos for almost 6,000 inherited diseases

Fertility and pregnancyJun 19 06

A powerful new method of testing embryos for inherited diseases, has been developed by fertility specialists in Britain.

The test will allow doctors to test for the first time a vast range of inherited diseases for which the specific genetic mutation is not known, such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD) and some forms of cystic fibrosis.

The technique which is more accurate and efficient than current methods, will offer help to hundreds of couples who have a realistic chance of having healthy children and will enhance the number of diseases clinics can test for from about 200 to almost 6,000.

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Fertility treatments could aid Europe demographic crisis

Fertility and pregnancyJun 19 06

Providing fertility treatment to more women could help offset Europe’s demographic crisis, a leading think tank said on Monday.

Increasing longevity, improvements in health care and falling birth rates mean that by 2050 the number of Europeans over the age of 65 will double from around 15 percent to about 30 percent.

Governments are concerned about the financial consequences because the graying population will increase healthcare and pension costs and there will be fewer younger people in the work force.

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Japan’s fertility rate hit low of 1.25 in 2005

Fertility and pregnancyJun 01 06

Japan’s fertility rate—the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime—fell to an all-time low of 1.25 in 2005, the health ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of the threat to the world’s second-biggest economy from an aging, shrinking population.

Japan’s population declined last year for the first time since 1945. Experts have long predicted the shift, but it came two years earlier than forecast.

“It’s an extremely tough figure,” Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters. “It will become one of the most important items on the policy agenda.”

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Vegan diet lowers odds of having twins

Fertility and pregnancyMay 22 06

Women who eat a vegan diet—a strict vegetarian diet that excludes all animal products including milk—are one fifth as likely as other women to have twins, a U.S. researcher reported on Saturday.

Hormones given to cattle to boost their milk and meat production might be related to these findings, said Dr. Gary Steinman, an obstetrician specializing in multiple-birth pregnancies at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.

Steinman compared twin births rates among women who ate a regular diet, vegetarians who included dairy products, and vegan women.

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Women with low vitamin D levels have small infants

Fertility and pregnancyMay 02 06

Pregnant women with relatively low amounts of vitamin D in their diets tend to give birth to smaller infants, a new study suggests.

Canadian researchers found that pregnant women who drank little milk or had a lower vitamin D intake tended to have smaller babies than women with higher intakes.

Fortified milk is a primary source of vitamin D in Western diets, and the nutrient may be the main reason why women’s milk consumption was linked to birthweight, according to the researchers.

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Brits warned against foreign IVF treatment

Fertility and pregnancyMay 01 06

British couples considering going abroad for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other types of fertility treatment have been warned against the practice.

According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which monitors fertility clinics in England and Wales, people who choose to have their treatment abroad should understand the potential risks and implications before booking an IVF holiday.

The HFEA says standards in many countries do not match those in the UK and patients should consider what happens if something goes wrong, whether their information is kept confidential, the legal position of donors of eggs or sperm and how they are recruited, screened and compensated.

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Underweight black women risk preterm delivery

Fertility and pregnancyMar 21 06

Being underweight - as evidence by a low body mass index (BMI)—before pregnancy raises the risk of preterm birth in black and Hispanic women to a greater extent than in white women, new research shows. Being underweight also increases the risk of vaginal inflammation in black women.

“These data suggest that there are racial differences in how nutritional status, as represented by BMI, might influence…the risk of spontaneous preterm birth,” Drs. Hyagriv N. Simhan and Lisa M. Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh write in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Low BMI has been tied to increased risk of early delivery across ethnic groups, the researchers note, while black women are twice as likely as whites to deliver prematurely. It is “biologically plausible” that BMI could increase preterm birth risk via effects on immunity and inflammation, they add.

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Focused ultrasound effective against fibroids

Fertility and pregnancyFeb 10 06

For women with fibroids, treatment with focused ultrasound guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) seems to relieve symptoms well, researchers report.

“This is the first large study using MR-guided focused ultrasound surgery for uterine fibroids and demonstrates successful symptom reduction at 6 and 12 months with a low rate of adverse events,” lead investigator Dr. Elizabeth A. Stewart told Reuters Health.

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Procedure that shrinks fibroids speeds recovery

Fertility and pregnancyFeb 03 06

For the treatment of uterine fibroids, a minimally invasive procedure called uterine artery embolization (UAE) that shrinks fibroids by cutting off their blood supply is as effective as removing fibroids with an operation called myomectomy, a study confirms. But UAE offers the advantages of a speedier and less eventful recovery, the study shows.

“As the evidence builds demonstrating uterine artery embolization’s comparable efficacy to hysterectomy and myomectomy and superior safety, I hope that more physicians will view the procedure more favorably, resulting in a decrease in major surgeries in favor of a minimally invasive technique,” said Dr. Scott C. Goodwin.

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Trend of earlier puberty continues among US girls

Fertility and pregnancyDec 23 05

The age at which girls in the U.S.A. reach puberty is continuing to dip, with heavier weights and changing national demographics playing important roles, according to a new study.

Research over the years has documented a gradual decline in the average age at which U.S. girls have their first menstrual period - from the age of 12.75 in the 1960s to about 12.5 in the early 1990s.

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Fertility after prostate “seed” therapy possible

Fertility and pregnancyNov 09 05

Contrary to popular belief, men with prostate cancer who have tiny radioactive seeds implanted in the prostate to destroy the cancer, a treatment called brachytherapy, are not always rendered infertile, according to the results of small case series.

Prostate brachytherapy has become a very popular way to treat prostate cancer that has not spread to other organs. While it is still a preferred treatment for older men, increasingly many younger men are now being treated with this approach.

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Britain streamlines fertility treatment checks

Fertility and pregnancyNov 04 05

Couples seeking fertility treatment will undergo fewer, fairer and faster checks under new guidelines to see whether they will be suitable parents, Britain’s fertility watchdog said on Thursday.

British law requires all clinics to make an assessment of the welfare of any child born using fertility services before a woman can receive IVF treatment.

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