Relieving Nightmares with Daydreams
Coping with Infertility
Infertility. The experience is a bad dream that couples may not wake up from for many months or even years. When it becomes clear that pregnancy is elusive, life as it has been known becomes unrecognizable.
In a sad development for the patient, the medical team at the Cleveland Clinic and prospective parents, comes news the first uterine transplant performed in the US has failed. The complex, eight-hour surgery took place on February 24 and the patient — Janice, 26 — was initially in stable condition. She was healthy enough just a few days later to briefly appear at the hospital’s press conference to announce the groundbreaking surgery. The failure occurred the next day although a biopsy performed earlier had shown no signs of rejection.
In a development that may someday help men facing infertility, Chinese scientists have just announced they were able to create sperm in a lab petri dish using embryonic stem cells from mice. The sperm was used to fertilize mouse eggs using in vitro fertilization (IVF), creating healthy babies that went on to have their own offspring. That’s promising.
There’s exciting medical news this week for women who want to give birth but don’t have a uterus — needed to become pregnant and give birth — because it was removed due to illness or they were born without one. According to estimates, approximately 50,000 American women may be candidates for the uterine transplant just performed in the U.S.
Today, any couple facing problems in getting and staying pregnant benefits from ongoing medical advances that result in new techniques to diagnose and treat infertility. Among those are tests of sperm and embryos that may better predict and therefore improve outcomes such as sperm DNA integrity testing.
Better understanding of the earliest stages of human development and the opportunity to improve fertility treatment and prevent miscarriages are goals of the British researcher who just received permission from United Kingdom (U.K.) regulators to use a powerful new genome editing technique on human embryos in the lab.
Medical advances — such as genetic testing applied to reproductive medicine — offer helpful new techniques designed to improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
Fertility specialists have long noticed a relationship between thyroid disorders and reproductive health issues including irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant, and multiple miscarriages early in pregnancy. During Thyroid Awareness Month and with new research, it’s worth knowing about a not uncommon and treatable problem that may be affecting your plans for a new family.
The topic of infertility is often in the news – from celebrities sharing their personal struggles to the latest medical treatments available to help you have a baby.
Most recently, Chrissy Teigen and Tyra Banks discussed their own painful experience on their show FABLife. For Teigen, married to musician John Legend, constantly being asked why she doesn’t have children has been intrusive. Still, she noted that the minute you open up about having problems getting pregnant, you find out how many other people are also seeing fertility specialists. With the recent news of her pregnancy, she has a happy outcome and lots to talk about.
Read more on Dr. Adamson’s blog on the Huffington Post.
Imagine receiving a cancer diagnosis when you’re trying to get pregnant or are considering pregnancy in the future. Fortunately, with advances in treating cancer and options to preserve fertility, cancer survivors may still be able to start or add to their family.
While you’ll want to focus on treatment for your condition, if your plans include having children, you’ll also want to understand the impact on your fertility and consider options to help improve your chances of getting pregnant later – before starting cancer treatment. That doesn’t always happen and health professionals recognize they can do better.
Read more on Dr. Adamson’s blog on the Huffington Post
The news these days is full of things to do — and not do — if you want to increase your chances of getting and staying pregnant. Add another item to the list, according to a small study presented at a Rome medical conference in June — taking common anti-inflammatory pain relievers.
According to researchers, the study of 39 women confirmed a relationship between taking certain pain relievers — non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) containing Ibuprofen or Naproxen and a disruption in the menstrual cycle which may interfere with ovulation. Over-the-counter (OTC) medication containing these ingredients include Aleve, Motrin and Advil.
Read more on Dr. Adamson’s blog at Huffington Post
The Future of Fertility Treatment
If you need help getting pregnant these days, there’s an array of advanced techniques available to both diagnose and treat infertility in men and women. If you needed medical assistance thirty years ago, you had few treatment options — basic surgery or limited hormonal therapy for women and varicocoele http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/varicoceles repair for men.
To Maximize Fertility, Men Should Minimize Bacon Consumption
If you and your partner have decided to seek medical assistance to help get pregnant, your doctor may have handed you a list of “lifestyle” instructions to follow to enhance the success of your treatment using assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
Now, along with not smoking, drinking less and maintaining a healthy weight, comes word that men should step away from the bacon to maximize their fertility.
Newsweek featured infertility treatments in its Health Insight section this week:
For Infertility Treatment, Options Abound
ART Babies Develop the Same as Other Babies
Every parent thinks about what their child will be like when they get older, no matter how their child was conceived. For those parents who successfully used assisted reproductive technology (ART) comes reassuring news – there appears to be no difference in cognitive development and academic performance for their children compared to kids spontaneously conceived.
While there are still few long-term studies examining whether children conceived through ART perform differently in school than their peers, results from two large studies confirm that in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is safe over the long-term with no negative effect on cognitive development.
One robust study showing comparable development included every child conceived by ART and born in Denmark between 1995 and 2000 (a total of 8251 children). As 9th graders, they were compared to two control groups: all twins born in Denmark during the same period and a randomly selected group of spontaneously conceived singletons. Also, ART singles and twins had comparable test scores.
Another major study by the University of Iowa followed children conceived using IVF through their hospitals and clinics. The age of children at the start of the study ranged from 8-17. Children were assessed through tests (grades 3 through 12), observation and answers given by parents on questionnaires.
The study showed IVF children performed better than peers matched by age and gender except that singles performed best and multiples (twins and triplets) tended to score slightly lower, though not significantly, than peers. Factors found to affect test scores included maternal age, parental education level, divorce and the child’s BMI. Cryopreservation, length of embryo culture and method of insemination did not affect scores. http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/01/building-a-brighter-kid-consider-ivf/
Additional long-term research is needed including the effect of IVF multiple births. After all, every parent wants to have children who are smarter than they are if just to avoid helping with the math homework.
Using Prostaglandins Following Miscarriage
When a woman experiences a miscarriage or has a termination during the first trimester, a dilation and curettage (D&C) is commonly used to remove the remaining tissue. However, if future pregnancies are being considered, other treatment options should be discussed as the procedure has recently been linked to preterm (less than 36 weeks) and very preterm (less than 32 weeks) delivery. The consequences of such early delivery can be serious and long lasting.
A Milestone in Fertility Treatment: The Uterine Transplant
Medical breakthroughs for previously untreatable conditions often make the headlines. Add one more milestone to the list – this time in reproductive science – the world’s first live birth last year by a 36-year-old woman who received a transplanted uterus from a 61 year-old woman who had already gone through menopause.
Uterine transplant has been likened to other breakthrough infertility treatments, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), ovarian transplantation, preimplantation genetic diagnosis and egg freezing. Previously, women with uterine factor infertility – where uterine issues interfere with pregnancy – were considered to have the last untreatable form of infertility. Now, there’s a potential solution.