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Touched by the Stork - Fertility Information

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Oldest Mom Dies
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The oldest recorded mom to give birth after being artificially inseminated by IVF at 67 died this week, being survived by twin boys. These boys never had a chance to know their mother and are left to be cared for by distant relatives.

Sky News reported, "she had hormone therapy to 'rejuvenate' her uterus as she had gone through the menopause 18 years earlier. The arrival of her healthy babies made her the oldest woman known to have given birth."

The women lied about her age and told the Los Angeles clinic she was 55, which is the maximum age limit for single potential IVF candidates. She gave birth in late 2006 to her twins, only to die two years later of cancer. She used both donor eggs and sperm for her insemination. There is much controversy surrounding her death in regards to age limits for ART (assisted reproductive technology) procedures. Medical professionals are also re-examining the responsibility of fertility clinics to properly scan candidates.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
New Fertility Advancements for Cancer Patients
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Persons about to undergo cancer treatments are often faced with difficult choices, one of which being their fertility. Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, take a harsh toll on the body and can often limit a person's reproductive ability. However, a new breakthrough may give hope to those dealing with cancer. A new study has shown hopeful prospects in being able to grow an unfertilized egg outside the body for preservation.

"By being able to take an immature ovarian follicle and grow it to produce a good quality egg, we're closer to that holy grail, which is to get an egg directly from ovarian tissue that can be fertilized for a cancer patient" stated the study director at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The hope of the study is to find a way to freeze unfertilized eggs from cancer patients to then thaw and fertilize at a later date. Today, freezing of fertilized embryos has the highest success rate. However, not all women know who they would like to have as their sperm partner prior to undergoing cancer treatment. This study is still in the early stages and they have yet to be able to mature the egg to a point where it could be fertilized, but they are getting closer

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Alternative Fertility Treatments
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As an alternative to traditional fertility treatments, clinics are offering a larger range of complimentary treatments ranging from yoga to spiritual guidance. These treatments help enhance traditional procedures and help individuals better cope with the stress involved with infertility.

"These holistic methods enhance medical treatment, improve reproductive function and create an overall better state of mind and health" explains Dr. Laurence Jacobs to Personal Liberty News.

The benefit to these alternative treatments is that they are relatively inexpensive in comparison to surgical procedures such as IVF. Nutritional counseling is also popular in fertility clinics for male infertility to boost sperm motility and count. Couples dealing with infertility should consider these alternative treatments as a viable option in conjunction to traditional procedures.


Monday, July 13, 2009
Increase Male Fertility
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Male infertility is becoming a much more publicized as research continues on the subject. There are many treatment options available for men dealing with infertility once they have been diagnosed. The Examiner has also listed a few daily lifestyle changes that can be made which may help boost a man's fertility.

Men should avoid using lubrication during sex, as this may hinder sperm motility. If a lubricant is needed, the Examiner suggests a small amount of vegetable oil. Men should also limit their amount of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, including soda and coffee. Quitting smoking is also helpful in order to decrease the number of abnormal sperm produced. Having sex often has also been found to help increase male fertility. Regular ejaculations help increase sperm health and sperm count. Lastly, men should watch their diets and take extra nutritional supplements to boost their immune system.

Overall, a healthy man will have a higher probability of producing healthy sperm. Men need to take care of their body if they want to help their partner conceive. The responsibility of fertility no longer falls completely on the women, and men should actively be aware of how small lifestyle changes could play a part in conception.

Sunday, July 12, 2009
Diet and Male Fertility
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New research from Spain shows that men who eat a healthier diet may also have healthier sperm. The men in the study who had diets high in carbohydrates, fiber, folate, and vitamin C were found to have a higher sperm count and greater sperm mobility.

"A healthy, well-balanced diet is not just important for preventing diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension, but it may be useful for preserving or improving your reproductive health too" stated Dr. Mendiola on Canada.com.

Eating right is important to whole body health. These new studies may give men the extra boost to eat fruits and vegetables to ensure maximum sperm health.

Sunday, July 12, 2009
Creating Sperm Cells from Stem Cells
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Stem cell research is advancing year by year and has now been tested as a possible cure for infertility. A new study is being conducted to determine if human sperm can be created from stem cells. At this point, men who are found to be infertile are left with limited options. If human sperm can be genetically created from stem cells, men would be able to pass on their DNA to their offspring even without their own viable sperm.

A reporter from ABC News stated, " right now his research offers a proof of principle -- that it is possible to create sperm cells, even if they are not fully viable yet, using his technique. And it is the process of how sperm forms, not the sperm themselves, that can show how a variety of factors may contribute to infertility."

There are ethic questions that arise from stem cell research as well. In theory, DNA from any individual could be used to create a baby and researchers worry that couples could easily make babies that are "half Brad Pitt or Elizabeth Taylor". The sperm created thus far is not viable, and there will be many years before a trial could even be possible on a human.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Feng Shui and Fertility
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Couples hoping to conceive often change their lifestyles in order to attain fertility. Couples with infertility issues often look to western medicine for procedures, such as in vitro fertilization. However, there are also aspects of eastern medicine that may be utilized as well. The Examiner.com examined different aspects of feng shui that may help couples enhance fertility.

Statues of dragons are suggested to be placed near a man's bedside to increase virility and fertility. Pictures of elephants and pictures of babies are also additions to the décor that may cure fertility issues. The Examiner.com also suggest keeping plants in your bedroom to invite life, allowing more sunshine in your home, and keeping your doorways clear of clutter.

Feng shui is used to create a positive environment for couples and to dispel negativity, which may hinder fertility attempts. Although these feng shui ideas are not scientifically tested, they are believed by many to hold powers over the human body and mind.

Monday, July 06, 2009
Hormone Deficiency Linked to Infertility
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A hormone deficiency called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) has been linked to infertility in both men and women. This condition is easily treated, but has been misdiagnosed for years by doctors nationwide. CAH results in an excess production of androgens, which interferes with ovulation and sperm count. Many women have undergone expensive fertility treatments to discover later that a hormone deficiency was the cause of their reproductive problems.

The New York Times reports that "not all fertility centers test for the disease, or they test for it only after they have tried other treatments. Some obstetricians are unaware of the disease and its effect on fertility."

CAH can also lead to shortness of stature, premature body hair growth, irregular menstruation, and acne. These symptoms have been wrongly attributed to premature puberty in many young girls, only to be corrected later. Once properly diagnosed, CAH is treatable and fertility may be restored.

Sunday, July 05, 2009
Genetic Testing for Fertility
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A new study is being conducted in the UK to determine if there is a genetic "fingerprint" found in blood to determine fertility. If true, this test would tell women their likelihood of becoming pregnant with procedures such as IVF.

"There does seem to be a particular signature that goes with early human pregnancy. We're talking about a unique profile that has the potential to be used in future to predict IVF success or failure" stated study leader Dr. Cathy Allen.

IVF is not only expensive for women dealing with infertility, but can also be emotionally and physically damaging. Results of this new test may help women decide if using IVF will be worth the money, time, and stress.

Thursday, July 02, 2009
Increase Sex, Increase Fertility
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A new study is being conducted in Australia to determine if having sex daily will help couples become more fertile. Yes, it seems intuitive that more sex will lead to a higher chance of pregnancy. But studies show that daily sex also helps reduce sperm damage.

According to an article by the examiner.com, "the longer sperm stays inside the testicles, the more likely it is to suffer from reactive oxygen species, DNA's number one enemy. By ejaculating daily, theoretically sperm should be healthier and more able to achieve conception."

Sperm that is healthy will have lower DNA problems and higher mobility. Couples should still monitor ovulation cycles, but this study may help couples prepare during the week prior to ovulation to increase the chance of conception.

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