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Touched by the Stork - Fertility Information

Monday, April 27, 2009
Hospital Uses Wrong Sperm to Fertilize Eggs
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At one of Britain's most prestigious fertility clinics, a series of mix-ups
has led to a number of women having their eggs fertilized with the wrong
sperm. The sperm and egg mix-ups make me wonder, has this happened in the
United States, and if so, will it be exposed? Should we start deploying more
stringent In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) regulations on fertility clinics and
hospitals? Or is the US fertility industry fairly mistake free?

The Times Online reported on the mishaps, "Fertility experts say the errors,
along with similar mistakes at other hospitals, raise serious concerns about
the way IVF clinics are regulated. They believe the Human Fertilisation and
Embryology Authority (HFEA), the watchdog, is failing to deal with serious
problems. The mistakes have raised concerns about a "casual approach" to the
37,000 British couples who seek fertility treatment every year."

In recent months IVF has been under great scrutiny after the 'Octo-Mom'
incident. Many health officials and industry observers think that we need
to have strict and stiffened laws governing fertility clinics and physicians
to make sure they are abiding by the rules.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Cloned Embryos Causing Huge Controversy
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A recent stir in the fertility industry has made headlines globally. A
controversial fertility doctor has claimed (and shown on the Discovery
Channel) that he can and will clone embryos and inseminate them into women
for pregnancy.

CBS News said in their report, "A shocking headline from a controversial
American fertility doctor: "I can clone a human being." It's a claim Dr.
Panayiotis Zavos has made before. Five years ago, he told a news conference
that he had implanted a cloned human embryo into an unnamed woman - an
embryo that should have produced a replica of her husband."

Dr. Zavos has said that if we intensify the efforts for cloning, we can have
a cloned baby in 1-2 years. These statements along with his controversial
research and experiments have caused uproar among many physicians and in
fact the public. The news has spread worldwide with newspapers across the
globe covering the cloning embryo story.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Egg Donation Financing
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The World Egg Bank has announced they will be offering patients a financing
program to aid in payments for donor egg recipients. This program will help
patients who are looking to delay payments with the fertility clinic. Often
times infertile couples are plagued with heavy finances and bills; after all
fertility treatments are quite expensive and if they fail to aid in
conception, you may need to explore new maybe even more expensive avenues.
So this program may really help infertile couples also struggling
economically.

eMediaWire said, "Our clients have an urgent need to move forward toward
their pregnancy goal, and unfortunately finances often get in the way. In
today's difficult economic environment, finding financing is particularly
challenging for many couples. Waiting for better times is not an option,"
said Diana Thomas, President and Founder of The World Egg Bank®."

This new funding and venture by the World Egg Bank may have the power to
dramatically increase the use of egg insemination and egg donation by
infertile couples. Hopefully this can not only help the donor but the
couple looking to adopt the egg financially.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Yoga and Fertility
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Yoga has long been considered the sport of feeling zen, peaceful and
healthy. But another perk to yoga has been publicized recently and that is
yoga alleviating fertility woes. For infertile couples nothing is worse
than stressing about the perils ahead with infertility treatments and the
possibility of not conceiving at all. So some fertility experts recommend
resting the body and mind with yoga.

The Des Moines Register said, "For me, personally, yoga has been a source of
stress reduction and balance," she said. "And for a lot of people struggling
to conceive, there's that underlying stress. The focus (of the class) is
clearly going to be inviting that reproductive energy in through a
combination of breath, meditation and movement." When you're under constant
stress, Hoover said, your body puts out stress hormones that deal more with
survival functions such as heart rate and blood pressure. Those hormones
also shut down reproduction. "

There is no evidence in yoga improving fertility; however it is a great way
to keep calm and healthy during times of severe stress.


Monday, April 20, 2009
US Funding Stem Cell Research
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Some funding has been made available to embryonic stem cell research in the
US. However the proviso is that researchers will have to use cells "culled"
from embryos stored at fertility clinics which would be thrown out. Such
research and studies were banned by the Bush Administration and have now
been allowed by the Obama Administration. Scientists are hoping this will
be a huge boost for fertility research and are thrilled at the prospect of
aiding in fertility treatments with the use of stem cells.

The Associated Press reported saying, "Scientists are trying to harness
embryonic stem cells - master cells that can morph into any cell of the body
- to one day create replacement tissues and better treat, possibly even
cure, ailments ranging from diabetes to Parkinson's to spinal cord injury.
Last month, Obama lifted that restriction, widening the field. But he left
it to the NIH to set ethics guidelines determining which cell lines now will
qualify for government funding."

A number of other stipulations and regulations are necessary for the stem
cell research to be completed, however all are within the limits of
appropriateness according to many of the scientists involved in the
studies.

Friday, April 17, 2009
Acupuncture and IVF
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For years some researchers have been saying acupuncture increases the
chances of successful pregnancy during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
treatments. However, new studies are showing there may actually not be a
positive link between the two. The researchers did note though that their
study may not warrant an all encompassing truth because it examined many
women who did not have healthy embryos inseminated into them.

Reuters article said, "...most likely explanation for the lack of an
acupuncture effect in their study was the fact that they included many women
who didn't have good quality embryos available for transfer. While
acupuncture may help a woman become pregnant after the transfer of a healthy
embryo, the researcher noted in an interview, it can't repair an embryo with
chromosomal defects or other abnormalities."

Acupuncture may still have positive effects on women who undergo IVF
treatments with healthy embryos.

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Rise in Fertility Treatments
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An increased number of women are opting for fertility treatments. Studies
from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) have shown
namely In Vitro Fertilization is the key inciter for such high rates of
fertility treatment.

The Press Association said, "In total, they received 46,502 cycles of
fertility treatment. The figures reveal a dramatic rise in the number of
women opting for treatment compared with the early 1990s. In 1992, just
14,057 women had fertility treatment and were aged 33 on average. Nowadays,
more than twice that number undergo treatment. Women are also now older when
having IVF, with an average age of 36 in 2007."

Not only has the IVF boom increased the rates of women undergoing fertility
treatment, but the awareness and education surrounding fertility has aided
in the growth as well. More infertile couples are aware of the treatments
available and fertility clinics are widely available and accessible all over
the US, Europe, Australia and other parts of the world.

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Stress and Conception
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For those of you high powered financiers or stress cases at work, yet another stress induced ailment may cause you more stress than you need. Researchers are saying that stress at work may adversely affect a woman's fertility. In a society filled with career-driven women, this may not be the best of news. Alongside fertility issues, stress has long been known to cause high blood pressure, poor eating habits, lack of exercise and migraines.

MSN said, "Cashdan's research, published in a recent issue of the journal Current Anthropology, found that the Marilyn Monroe–type figure is less often found in women with demanding careers. Those women displayed more boyish figures, which are negatively correlated to fertility. Cashdan told the Times that work stress and the drive for career success can bring about a shift in hormones where estrogen-the female hormone-is replaced by androgens including testosterone, which are associated with strength, stamina and competitiveness. Higher androgen levels are associated with more masculine figures and lower fertility."

For high stressed women it may be beneficial to begin a healthy living regiment. Working out regularly, eating well and having some down-time outside of work stresses. These tips may aid in decreasing stress.

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Stem Cell Prospect and Fertility
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A study come from China may show that stem-cells in the future could be used to reignite fertility among infertile women. The hope for new fertility treatments has stormed from Shanghai, as scientists experimented on mice with stem-cell treatments. This comes on the wake of serious talks about sperm and egg freezing for later use.

The Guardian said, "Hopes for the new therapy follow experiments in which sterilised mice produced eggs and went on to give birth to healthy young after adult females had stem cells injected into their ovaries. If the procedure can be made to work in humans, it could lead to treatments that extend fertility beyond the menopause and help younger women who are unable to conceive because their eggs have been damaged by cancer therapies or disease."

The research may be controversial, however doctors and scientist are still urging patients and readers to know these are still tentative and preliminary studies. However, the prospect is what is exciting and causing stir among industry observers.

Monday, April 13, 2009
Baby Born from Frozen Sperm
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A baby has been born from a 21-year-old frozen sperm. According to
specialists this is the longest frozen sperm ever to successfully conceive.
Chris Biblis, 38, was treated for leukemia in his teenager years. The then
teenagers was urged by his parents to freeze some of his healthy sperm prior
to radiation and chemotherapy procedures damaged his sperm. Back in the
late 1980s there were very few if any fertility treatments for men, so this
was quite an accomplishment to freeze his sperm.

UPI article said, "Biblis has been clinically disease-free for more than 20
years. Last May, he and his wife, Melodie, 33, also in excellent health,
sought fertility treatment with Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of
Charlotte founder and fertility specialist Dr. Richard L. Wing. "They
achieved pregnancy on their first cycle of intracytoplasmic sperm injection
used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization, a now-routine procedure for
male infertility, using her eggs and his frozen sperm," Wing said in a
statement."

The trend of freezing sperm and eggs prior to undergoing any procedures that
may damage them has become quite popular in recent years, more and more
fertility experts in fact are urging and recommending patients do so to
preserve and protect their fertility for later years.

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