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Touched by the Stork - Fertility Information

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Cyclists and Fertility Issues
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For those of you men who are cycling aficionado's you want to consider
freezing your sperm according to some fertility researchers. Recent studies
show cyclists who average over 186 miles have higher chances of damaged and
poorer quality sperm. This is focused at triathletes, ironmen, and of
course Tour de France cyclists who boast hundreds of miles per event.

BBC News said of the study, "Heat from wearing tight clothing, friction of
the testes against the saddle and stresses on the body from the sheer
amounts of energy needed to do such rigorous exercise, could all contribute
to poor sperm quality, said Professor Vaamonde. The team are doing further
research work in how cycling may effect metabolic processes in the body
which lead to the development of abnormal sperm."

The study went on to say that it is unknown whether the quality of sperm
will return to high quality if the cyclists retire and limit their days and
intensity of workouts. Some fertility experts say avid bikers should
possibly consider freezing their sperm to maintain high quality sperm and
successful results.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Embryo Quality Test
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A controversial fertility test may be able to dramatically improve fertility
rates for infertile couples seeking out treatment. Trial runs are currently
underway for embryo quality tests. The embryo test will determine how high
your chances of successful fertility are whilst undergoing In Vitro
Fertilization (IVF). The test will screen embryos for chromosomal
abnormalities, some of which have can cause miscarriages and abnormalities
in the child.

The Times Online reported on the study, "Preliminary research in the US has
suggested that the procedure, which aims to identify embryos with the best
chance of developing into healthy babies, can deliver IVF success rates as
high as 80 per cent - more than double the average in Britain."

Some fertility experts are still quite wary of this test as they don't think
it has the ability to screen and appropriately increase fertility rates for
IVF couples. This is why such experiments are going underway however,
physicians hope to bring out more evidence and see if this technique will be
implemented in the fertility industry.

Friday, June 26, 2009
Surrogacy and the City
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TVs favorite sex symbol writer is now the mother of three thanks to a fertility treatment. Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick have had a set of twins via surrogacy. The star-studded duo have a son, but the two twins are little girls named Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick and Tabitha Hodge Broderick according to reports. After trouble with fertility the couple announced their fertility treatment endeavors back in April.

In recent years surrogacy has been a viable and popular option for many struggling couples. Although in the current economic climate surrogacy is quite the expensive option for infertility treatment. In fact rates for surrogacy are so expensive that many women are offering their bodies for extra money. As of now, for celebrities like our dear Carrie Bradshaw the cost is definitely worth it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009
Ending IVF Mistakes
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After a series of In Vitro Fertilization mix-ups and embryo issues at various fertility clinics in the UK, fertility experts feel they may have come up with a viable solution. Cryogenic chips have the potential to end such mistakes. The chip would be an electronic ID tag implanted in the frozen embryo, this would hopefully eliminate the chances of embryo mix-ups.

NewScientist, "As a sample moves through the IVF process, the ID code of every container it is placed in is logged, providing a secure ID audit trail. So, in theory, only sperm and eggs from the right couples can be brought together, and the resulting embryos will be implanted into the right woman."

With a large number of patients starting the trend of freezing embryos the chances and possibility for mix-ups may be quite high. The couples who were inseminated with the wrong embryo were forced to aborted their pregnancy, this would hopefully remove the chances of such mistakes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
International Fertility
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There has been an increase in international (primarily European) infertile couples seeking out fertility treatments in the US. This is due in part to the weak US dollar and recession; UK couples can get IVF treatment for nearly half the cost it would be if they stayed in the UK. Similarly the US has become and IVF hotspot because of reproductive laws in the US that permit international couples to come in for treatment.

Business Wire reported on the influx of foreigners, "In the UK, it is illegal to compensate donors for donating their eggs and lack of anonymity is often a major deterrent for potential donors. Surrogacy laws also expressly forbid advertising for surrogates or to be a surrogate. As a result, there is a shortage of egg donors and surrogates, and most IVF clinics have waiting lists for two years or longer."

States like Illinios are seeing some of the biggest foreign fertility boom. Infertile couples come into big cities make a holiday out of it and get a less costly treatment.



Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatments
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A large portion of infertile couples are unable to seek treatment for their fertility woes solely due to cost of procedures. Fertility treatments are very expensive and rarely does healthcare get involved in monetary aid. Similarly, most pay out pocket because employers have no benefits for such treatments either. Depending on the treatment and diagnosis treatments can cost up to $20,000, and in times of economic troubles it is virtually impossible for some to pay such high costs. Now fifteen US states are mandating fertility treatment coverage.

Included in such coverage are according to the Examiner, "Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, California, Maryland, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Montana, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey and West Virginia."

Hopefully with such mandates deployed fertility treatment will become more widely accessible for lower socioeconomic people likewise for all infertile couples.


Friday, June 19, 2009
Boxers, Briefs and Fertility
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For the last few days we have been highlighting the facts about male infertility. Granted, having children is generally not a top priority for many young men, but much of their lifestyle choices at a young age impact their fertility later in life. Poor sperm quality and quantity is a major factor in impaired fertility. From laptop use, wearing boxers over briefs and even casual drug use, there are many risk factors for young men.

The United Press International reported, "Dr. Suzanne Kavic, a reproductive specialist at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said heat generated by hot tubs, excessive laptop use, or using boxers over briefs can impact sperm production, making it difficult to conceive down the road. Other leading causes of male infertility include: enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum, genital injuries or defects, certain sexually transmitted infections, an infection or inflammation of the prostate, immune and hormonal disorders."

Similarly anti-depressants, excessive alcohol abuse and other prescribed medications can be harmful as well. Fertility experts urge men to have active and healthy lifestyles: excercise, moderate alcohol consumption, avoiding drugs, and having regular check-ups to check one's fertility and quality of sperm.


Thursday, June 18, 2009
Male Infertility Awareness Launch
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Most of us are aware of the perils and struggles involved with female infertility issues; from exhausting IVF sessions to expensive insemination treatments, the process is tedious, emotional and expensive. But what about the male infertility? EMD Serono is launching a male infertility campaign aimed at raising awareness and education about prevention, treatment and general infertility information.

Medical Marketing and Media said of the launch, "The effort, dubbed "In The Know: What No One Tells You About Male Fertility," is launching this week, which is Men's Health Week. The campaign features a 20-page booklet written in conjunction with the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction."

More than 7 million Americans suffer from infertility, and an even larger percentage are said to be unaware of their infertility. Half of these cases are said to be related to men. Hopefully such campaigns bring male infertility to the limelight and teach men about lifestyle changes, foods, and medications that can aid in their fertility health.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Too Wired
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Studies are emerging about the dangers of our youth population being too technologically wired. A recent case shows the possible link between laptops (literally on our laps) and male infertility. Laptop use is considered to be damaging to sperm quantity and quality – two factors crucial to successful fertility.

United Press International said, "However, the heat generated from laptops can impact sperm production and development making it difficult to conceive down the road."

Fertility experts are urging men to place their laptops on desks rather than their laps to permit the sperm damage. In recent months, male infertility has shown much recognition and studies from the industry as many are realizing many couples striving to conceive actually have sperm/male issues, not just fertility problems from the female.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Stress and Infertility
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Scientists claim to have found a link between stress and infertility. In general chronic stress is known to have adverse affects on people's health; from acne to stomach ulcers and headaches stress induces many ailments. Couples facing infertility issues tend to have high cases of stress. The treatments are costly, time consuming and tend to be emotional for many infertile men and women, thus causing stress.

Science Daily said, "We know stress affects the top-tier reproductive hormone, GnRH, but we show, in fact, that stress also affects another high-level hormone, GnIH, to cause reproductive dysfunction."

The study was done at the University of California, Berkley and will be published in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The researchers at Berkley are now aware of the links between stress and infertility and will be further researching the issue.


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