Archive for the ‘
Pregnancy News ’ Category
Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Oddly enough, a new study from published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that white women were more likely to get pregnant after IVF treatments than women from any other ethnic background. After examining IVF success rates for 1,517 women between 2006 and 2011, researchers found that 44 percent of white women had babies after their first cycle of fertility treatment (including in-vitro fertilization and intro-cytoplasmic sperm injection) compared to 38 percent of South East Asian women, 23 percent of African-Caribbean women, and 21 percent of Middle East Asian women.
The disparity occurs despite all of the women appearing to have the same chances of having a baby based on quality of their egg reserves. While researchers aren’t sure why white women have higher IVF success rates, they hypothesize that it could be a matter of genetics as well as social and environmental factors.
“Further research into genetic background as a potential determinant of IVF outcome, as well as the influencing effects of lifestyle and cultural factors on reproductive outcomes is needed,” said lead researcher Dr. Walid Maalouf.
John Thorp, BJOG deputy editor-in-chief, is quoted in The Mirror as believing the study’s findings will help women paint a more realistic picture of success rates for women undergoing fertility treatment. “It could be used to encourage women from ethnic backgrounds to seek treatment earlier and improve the likelihood of a positive pregnancy outcome,” he said.
TELL US: Do you believe race and ethnicity can determine your fertility success?
Learn about the 10 ways you can boost your fertility. Plus, take our quiz and find out if you could be expecting right now!
Image of woman with pregnancy test courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Most women expect to get pregnant within six months of trying, but a new survey of 2,000 British women by the women’s health brand Balance Activ showed that the average time it took the women surveyed to conceive was actually one to two years!
“Deciding to try for a baby can be an intense time for couples,” said Corrin Farr, senior marketing manager at Balance Activ. “The fact that women are choosing to have children later on in life, combined with an expectation that conception will happen within weeks can also add stress and anxiety to the mix, which in turn can lead to its own [fertility] problems.”
Technically, you’re classified as “infertile” after 12 months of having unprotected sex without conceiving (or after six months for those 35 and up). Ten to 15 percent of couples in the US are diagnosed as being infertile.
So while this was an informal survey—not an elaborate study—what it tells me is that there is hope for those who don’t think getting pregnant is in the cards for them!
Plan a personalized shower for mom-to-be with our amazing Baby Shower Planner. Then, check out these 10 sneaky ways to boost your fertility.
Image of woman with a pregnancy test courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Friday, October 25th, 2013
I know that sounds like a silly question, but it’s not so absurd after reading about this case in Wisconsin. During the start of her second trimester, at 14 weeks pregnant, during a normal prenatal checkup and discussion about her medical history, 28-year-old Alicia Beltran told her doctor that she had gone through a Percocet addiction the previous year, but had kicked the painkiller habit before getting pregnant, by using Suboxone, a drug that blocks opiates, and is safely given to stop addictions even while pregnant. She had completed her self-imposed rehab just days before going to the check up. During a urine test, traces of Suboxone were found, but no signs of any other drugs, and later tests found no drugs at all in her system.
Though she told doctors she was no longer using any drugs, two weeks later a social worker showed up at her door unannounced and told her she needed to restart the Suboxone treatment or face a court order that would force her to do so. Two days after she refused, stating she was no longer on any drugs, the police handcuffed and arrested her and she went before a family court judge, where she was not given an attorney, but the court had already appointed her fetus one. That’s right, the unborn child had an attorney, but she didn’t! Beltran was forced into a court-ordered 78-day drug treatment center under a Wisconsin law known as the “Cocaine Mom” act—which allows child-welfare authorities to confine a pregnant woman who uses illegal drugs or alcohol “to a severe degree,” and refuses to get treatment.
According to the New York Times, “Wisconsin is one of four states, along with Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, with laws specifically granting authorities the power to confine pregnant women for substance abuse. But many other states use civil-confinement, child-protection or assorted criminal laws to force women into treatment programs or punish them for taking drugs.”
The law was intended to help both pregnant women with addictions and their unborn children. But due to Beltran’s case, this law is now being challenged as unconstitutional in federal court by National Advocates for Pregnant Women, the Reproductive Clinic of the New York University School of Law and Linda S. Vanden Heuvel, Beltran’s attorney. The suit argues that “the law is not only based on faulty information about the risks to newborns, but that it actually does more harm than good by scaring pregnant women away from prenatal care,” which can only harm their babies more.
It begs the question: Where do a mom’s rights stop once she becomes pregnant? Are the fetus’ rights always deemed more important than hers? Is she then no longer a person with rights of her own, but just a gestational vessel?
While I think the law’s intentions are good (Who wants to see an unborn child harmed—period?), in this case there was no evidence of any addiction, yet the woman’s rights were completely taken away and she was held against her will. In those two and a half months she was detained, she lost her job. While it’s illegal to discriminate against a pregnant woman, in all likelihood it will be hard for her to find another job now at 7 months pregnant. So let’s recap: the single mom was held against her will, put in a drug treatment she didn’t actually need, causing all kinds of undue stress on her and her baby, and now she’s out of a job, leaving her unable to support her child. How exactly did the law protect her unborn child?
TELL US: Do you think the authorities had the right to lock up Beltran, or do you think the law is unconstitutional?
Image of an ultrasound courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Monday, October 21st, 2013
I know there’s no such thing as a miracle drug, but a new version of In Vitro Fertilization—dubbed the mini-IVF—sure sounds like a miracle procedure! It’s half the price of the usual IVF, with fewer doses required, and far less side effects. How cool is that?!
This new method of getting pregnant consists of a daily low-dose pill of the fertility drug Clomid—which helps kick-start egg production—for 10 to 12 days. During this time, ultrasounds are required every few days to check whether the eggs are developing healthily. Around 10 days later, once the eggs are large enough, they are removed with a 5-minute operation that is so minor it doesn’t even require general anesthesia.
According to a trial involving 520 women, which was showcased at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Boston, success rates in women over 35 were a third higher compared with those undergoing conventional IVF, and women in their 40s were twice as likely to have a baby compared to if they had used the standard IVF. In women 35 and under, success rates are about the same for both IVF and mini-IVF procedures, but researchers say women in that age range still would benefit from using the mini-IVF because it is cheaper and has fewer side effects (it is said to not cause pregnant-like symptoms, including mood swings, nausea or headaches that usually come with IVF treatments).
The Daily Mail reports that “one of the main reasons women in their 30s and 40s have problems conceiving either naturally or with IVF is that they do not produce enough healthy eggs capable of developing into an embryo, and eventually into a fetus.” Well, high-dose fertility drugs used in conventional IVF actually worsen this problem. They increase a woman’s egg production, but they also appear to change the DNA of the eggs, which can sometimes leave them defective. The mini-IVF does not.
While more research may need to be done in this area, all signs are pointing to the mini-IVF being a better alternative for women seeking fertility help.
TELL US: Do you think the mini-IVF sounds too good to be true? Or is it about time researchers found a cheaper, easier, more effective alternative to the standard IVF procedure?
Image of woman getting an ultrasound courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
The network that gave you an inside peek into the partying ways of Guidos (Jersey Shore), teens’ struggles to raise kids (Teen Mom), and misleading internet dating (Catfish), now explores the topic of being a sperm donor baby. The new docuseries, Generation Cryo, which debuts November 25, follows 17-year-old Bree as she tracks down 15 of her half brothers and sisters, and has them join her in the quest of finding their shared (and very busy!) sperm donor, the person responsible for half of their DNA.
Bree and her half siblings found each other through the Donor Sibling Registry, which has helped connect more than 10,000 children conceived through sperm donors. Like all of MTV’s voyeuristic guilty pleasures, this one has a high level of intrigue. Most people don’t know much about the world of sperm banks, add to that it’s a big scavenger hunt to find their biological father, and the kids quickly become supportive siblings, causing some major tugs on the ol’ heart strings.
But most people don’t go around talking about using a sperm donor, let alone being a sperm donor. But maybe this show will actually destigmatize the idea of using a sperm donor. The perception is that sperm donations are something guys do in college to make a quick, easy buck, because sperm donors receive anywhere from $40-$100 per sperm sample, and can earn up to $6k a year. Meanwhile, according to Newsweek, people wanting sperm can pay around $2k for it, and the whole in vitro fertilization process can cost $15-18k.
So who’s using sperm banks? About eight percent of couples are infertile due to a problem with the man’s sperm (low sperm production, misshapen or immobile sperm, or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm), which is one reason to seek a sperm donor. Single women and lesbian couples also often turn to sperm banks to have children.
How would you feel if your child wanted to go on a televised quest to find her sperm donor—not only revealing to the world that you used one (!), but potentially inviting this stranger into your family once they connect? Knowing both of my parents and having a large extended family and loving genealogy, I think I would be understanding of my kid’s journey of self discovery and wanting to know where she had come from—the TV part I’m not so sure about!
Everyone involved in this show is gutsy to let people into their journey, where emotions are sure to run high: What if the sperm donor doesn’t want to be found, and rejects meeting his 16 kids? What if the kids’ dads who raised them feel it’s a slap in the face to find the donor, who has never been a part of their lives? What if the donor does keep in touch with all of his kids—what does that mean for everyone’s lives? The built-in drama of this show is pretty genius. Like everything MTV does, though, there’s a (un)healthy heaping of sensationalism involved. I just hope they find the balance of respecting these kids and their families, while still giving an accurate picture of what it’s like to be the child of a sperm donor, and a sperm donor, if we—the TV audience—do get to meet him.
Generation Cryo debuts Monday, Nov. 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
TELL US: Will you be tuning into the show? Would you consider using a sperm donor? How would you react if your child wanted to find his/her sperm donor?
Image of sperm courtesy of Shutterstock.
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