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Friday, February 27, 2009

Fertility Affected By Mixed Handedness




Right handed, left handed or mixed handed? Frankly I'd never even heard of mixed handedness until I read this article. Apparently if you use both hands equally, this may be a risk factor for infertility. Read more:

Study links handedness to fertility
By Amy Norton, Reuters www.timescolonist.com


From the article:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who are "mixed-handed," those who are able to use both hands with equal dexterity, may have harder time having a child than righties or lefties, a new study suggests.


Researchers found that among more than 9,000 Danish couples, those in which one partner was mixed-handed, rather than exclusively right- or left-handed, tended to take slightly longer to conceive.


The findings suggest that mixed-handedness and lower fertility may share a common cause, according to lead researcher Dr. Jinliang Zhu, of the University of Aarhus in Denmark.


It's possible, for example, that hormonal exposure during prenatal development affects both a person's eventual handedness and his or her fertility, Zhu told Reuters Health.


That, however, remains to be proven, the researchers point out in the medical journal Epidemiology.


A number of studies have looked at the connection between handedness and health. Some have linked being left-handed or mixed-handed to having a higher risk of some diseases and disorders, including breast cancer, schizophrenia, dyslexia and autism.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Progesterone Helps Prevent Pre-term Birth

Pregnancy Over 40:  Progesterone Can Help Prevent Premature Delivery

I have read so much conflicting information about progesterone.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 Some sources say it helps with luteal phase defect (where the second half of the menstrual cycle is too short making implantation difficult), some sources claim it helps prevent miscarriage (other sources dispute it), and now this video from WebMD shows that progesterone has a high success rate in preventing pre-term births. Watch the video here:

www.webmd.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Possible Fertility Treatment Discovered By Accident

It's funny how medical science works...sometimes research is done for one purpose, but ends up with unexpected results. Here is an article about how women undergoing uterine biopsies actually became more fertile:

Biopsy Effect Puzzles Fertility Doctors (aphroditewomensheath.com)

From the article:

Completely unexpected results from biopsies performed on women with fertility problems have led fertility experts on a new path of discovery that may hold hope for women trying to conceive. Professor Nava Dekel of the Weizmann Institute's Biological Regulation Department had been investigating a protein she suspected played a role in the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus - a crucial and sometimes failure-prone process. The team took biopsies at several stages in the menstrual cycles of 12 women with long histories of fertility problems and unsuccessful IVF treatments to see if levels of this protein changed over the course of the cycle.

The team's research went according to plan and they found evidence pointing to the protein's role, but the real surprise came later. Incredibly, of the 12 women participating in the study, 11 became pregnant during the next round of IVF. The idea of biopsy incisions - essentially small wounds - leading to such a positive outcome was puzzling. Dekel realized something interesting was happening so she and her team repeated the biopsies, this time on a group of 45 volunteers, and compared the results to a control group of 89 women who did not undergo biopsy. The results were clear: The biopsy procedure somehow doubled a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.

Dekel's team suggests that some form of mild distress - such as a biopsy - may provoke a response that makes conditions in the uterus favorable for implantation. Dekel and her team are now looking for the exact mechanisms involved and in the future, this accidental finding may give birth to new treatments to improve the success rate of IVF; or even tackle some types of fertility problems directly.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Marijuana Use May Lead To Male Infertility and Testicular Cancer

Stay Away From Marijuana If You Want To Get Pregnant and Avoid Other Heath Problems

I wonder if all those guys who smoke pot know about the possible risks.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 According to this article it not only can hurt male fertility, it may increase the risk of testicular cancer. Read more:

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/health/cancer/2009/02/10/195477/Marijuana-may.htm

From the article:

The study of 369 Seattle-area men ages 18 to 44 with testicular cancer and 979 men in the same age bracket without the disease found that current marijuana users were 70 percent more likely to develop it compared to nonusers.
The risk appeared to be highest among men who had reported smoking marijuana for at least 10 years, used it more than once a week or started using it before age 18, the researchers wrote in the journal Cancer.
Stephen Schwartz of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, one of the researchers, said the study was the first to explore marijuana's possible association with testicular cancer.
"This is the first study to look at this question, and by itself is not definitive. And there's a lot more research that would have to be done in order to be more confident that marijuana use really is important in a man's risk of developing testicular cancer," Schwartz said in a telephone interview.
The study found the increased risk appeared to be in the form called nonseminoma testicular cancer. It accounts for 40 percent of cases and can be more aggressive and more difficult to treat, Schwartz said.
Experts are unsure about the causes of testicular cancer, which often strikes men in their 20s and 30s. The disease is seen more commonly in men who have had an undescended testicle or have a family history of testicular cancer.
The disease usually responds well to treatment and has a five-year survival rate of about 96 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
About 8,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with testicular cancer per year, and there are about 140,000 U.S. men alive who have survived the disease, the group said.
The researchers said they were not sure what it was about marijuana that may raise the risk. Chronic marijuana use also can have effects on the male reproductive system including decreased sperm quality, they said.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why Menopause? Theories Abound


Let's step into the scientific realm today. Why do women go through menopause when some species reproduce in their 60's and even their 80's? Here's a few interesting theories. Read more:

The Origin of Menopause: Why Do Women Outlive Fertility? www.sciam.com

From the article:

"We showed that, compared to other primates that exhibit a post-reproductive life span, humans really stand out, because there is absolutely no overlap in reproduction between generations," Cant says. "Women stop breeding on average when the next generation starts to breed."

This makes evolutionary sense, Cant and Johnstone say, because, contrary to most mammals, young women tend to move to their mates' communities, where they become immigrants whose only genetic kin are their own children. There is no genetic profit in helping their mothers-in-law bear more children, because they will not share any genes with those children. But an older woman who helps her son's wife reproduce will benefit by bequeathing 25 percent of her genes to her grandchildren.

"We show that the mother-in-law's best strategy is to stop breeding, avoid competition, and allow the daughter-in-law to breed and help her," Cant says. "It's the first time anyone has taken the idea that humans evolved with this sex bias in dispersal and looked at the implications for how these conflicts will be resolved within the family."

The mother of the grandmother hypothesis, anthropologist Kirsten Hawkes of the University of Utah, says Cant and Johnstone are right to focus on intergenerational conflict. Elephants have babies in their 60s, and some whales give birth in their 80s. "It's clearly something selection can adjust," she says. "So explaining why it hasn't in us has to be part of the story." But she disputes their claim that female-bias dispersal is, in fact, the universal human/ape residence pattern, pointing out that half of the young female chimps at anthropologist Jane Goodall's Gombe Stream Research Center remain with their mothers, and that recent studies show that hunter-gatherers often live with the wife's family as well.

Another explanation for menopause is the "mother hypothesis," which holds that it occurs because older mothers might profit more, genetically speaking, by investing resources in their existing children than in giving birth to new ones.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Trying To Get Pregant With A Chronic Condition

I found a good question/answer site dealing with getting pregnant or staying pregnant with a chronic condition. This site deals with everything from diabetes, obesity, hypertension, endometriosis, anatomical problems and more:

Trying to Conceive with a Chronic Condition (www.medicinenet.com - WebMD live event transcripts)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Your Fertility, Your Brain - Look What Cellphones Can Do!

I've posted before about how cellphones may harm men's fertility and the research is a bit sketchy about how they may affect women trying to conceive or already pregnant. But after watching this video, you may think twice about using a cell phone at all. I'll admit I have a cell phone, but I save it for emergencies. See how these cell phones can make popcorn. Yikes!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stress and Infertility
(I know you've heard it all before but....)


I hate to dwell on the whole stress management thing, because I can already hear you saying..."yeah, yeah, stress management, tell me something I don't already know", but here's article on the relationship between stress and infertililty (even in people undergoing assisted reproduction):

www.sharedjourney.com

Women who suffer from infertility can be just as "stressed out" as those who suffer from cancer, AIDS, or heart disease. When I ran the women's support group for my local infertility organization, one woman had a history of breast cancer. She told the group that compared to infertility, her cancer was easy. That was a real eye opener for me and for the rest of the group.

I'm not a researcher, but in addition to this article posted on my website: "How Stress Causes Miscarriage", there seems to be some pretting compelling evidence that eliminating (or at least reducing)the major stressors in your life can help you get pregnant. The problem with many of us is that we don't know how much stress we're under until we get away from it. I look back now on my "pre-pregnancy" life and I get tired just thinking about it. I'm so glad I came to my senses and got out of the 'pressure cooker' I was in every day. It truly was a key piece of my pregnancy success.

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