Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Tamar Braxton, the singer and reality television star, is pregnant with her first child despite the fact that she and her husband, Vince Herbert, had been told to anticipate a long journey and medical interventions. More from PEOPLE.com:
“Vince and I [were] told we were going to have fertility problems — it was a lot of information — so we had to get comfortable with the fact that it happened on its own,” Braxton, 35, tells PEOPLE.
“We decided [not to announce the pregnancy] until we were both really okay with it — that’s why we waited.”
The memorable moment they found out their first child was on the way is one Braxton won’t ever forget.
“I just burst out laughing,” she recalls. ”It’s like, ‘What you talkin’ about, boo?’”
But now that the world knows, Braxton — who’s craving potato chips and cheddar cheese — is being bombarded with “unsolicited advice” — especially from her mother as well as her sister Toni.
“My sisters are making me feel more maternal because they’re crazy. They’re giving me advice on how to be a mother and be pregnant,” the mom-to-be says. “They always have a comment about my shoes, what am I wearing, what am I eating, you need to put your feet up and I’m just like, ‘I’m fine!’ They’re too much.”
Image: Tamar Braxton and Vince Herbert, via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Sofia Vergara, the actress who stars in the hit sitcom “Modern Family,” has said in an interview that she is undergoing treatments to freeze her eggs in the event that she wants a child in the future. Vergara, 40, is already mother to a 21-year-old son, Manolo. More from PEOPLE.com:
“I have to be careful what I eat because they’re freezing my eggs!” [Vergara] confides to Vogue as she sits down to a lunch interview for their April issue.
“Hormone pills, and then after that it is hormone injections. They want to get as many eggs as they can because usually you produce them but they’re not good. They have to be perfect, perfect, perfect ones.”
Vergara’s fiancé Nick Loeb “is 37, younger than me, never had kids,” the Modern Family star notes of her decision to start the process.
Image: Sofia Vergara, via DFree / Shutterstock.com
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
The three main methods that are used to treat ectopic pregnancies–when an embryo implants in a woman’s fallopian tube instead of in her uterus–are equally helpful in preserving that woman’s chances of becoming pregnant in the future, according to a new study published in the journal Human Reproduction. More from The New York Times:
Ectopic pregnancies can be ended by administration of a drug, methotrexate; conservative surgery that preserves the fallopian tube; or radical surgery that removes it. Methotrexate may be used alone or combined with surgery….
….Within two years [of undergoing one of the three treatments], 67 percent of the women who had the drug alone became pregnant again, compared with 71 percent of those who had the medicine and conservative surgery. In the other group, pregnancy rates were 70 percent after conservative surgery with methotrexate, compared with 64 percent after radical surgery. None of these differences was statistically significant.
“The message is that women should be reassured that removing the fallopian tube does not affect future fertility,” said an author of the study, Dr. Perrine Capmas, an obstetrician at Bicêtre Hospital in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, near Paris. “It’s important to take into account other factors — the woman’s preference, for example — because fertility will be the same whatever treatment is used.”
Image: Doctor, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
Men who watch more than 20 hours of television each week have a 44 percent lower sperm count than men who watch less TV, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health has found. More from NBC News:
Twenty-plus hours per week? Who has so much free time they can devote such a fat chunk of their lives to clicker-clutching couch vegging? Apparently, many of us, said Jorge Chavarro, senior author of the study and assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard.
“It’s not difficult to imagine. That’s about three hours a day,” Chavarro said. “Let’s say somebody comes home from work at 7 and turns on the TV; they only need to watch TV until the evening news and they’ve watched three hours.”
Starting in the 1990s, studies have suggested a reduction in sperm counts among men in various cities, including in Europe and the United States. It’s become more clear in the past six years.
“Most people have speculated these are due to higher use of environmental chemicals,” Chavarro said.
“One of the things that has been overlooked during same six-year period: there also have been vast changes in how people live their lives, including how people eat, watch television, move around – whether they are active or not. Relatively little attention has been paid to these factors (when it comes to sperm counts). We wanted to look at that.”
Image: Man watching TV, via Shutterstock
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
A growing number of fertility specialists are questioning the practice of using high doses of hormone medications to help women become pregnant, calling instead for low-dose cycles of in-vitro fertilization that carry less of a risk of potentially serious side effects. The New York Times reports:
[Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)] is a little-known complication of fertility treatments that rely on high doses of hormones, which are standard in the United States and the United Kingdom; the syndrome is not the only health problem to be linked to in vitro fertilization. Fertility clinics in Europe and Japan have turned to a safer, low-dose form of IVF, but clinics here have largely resisted on the grounds that the success rates for low-dose IVF are not as high.
“Pregnancy rates are lower, and more cycles of IVF are necessary” with low-dose IVF, said Dr. Glenn L. Schattman, a fertility doctor at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
But some critics are urging the industry to reconsider.
“Mild stimulation is clearly much healthier for women,” said Francine Coeytaux, founder of the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles. “The reason hyper-stimulation happened is because these fertility clinics compete against each other by posting their success rates.”
In high-dose IVF, a woman is first given injections of a drug, often Lupron, to suppress her ovaries, causing temporary menopausal symptoms. Then the ovaries are stimulated with hormones, such as follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, in order to produce more eggs. The duration of stimulation is longer, and the hormone dose significantly higher, than in the low-dose programs common overseas.
Women normally generate one egg per cycle, but high-dose stimulation can help women produce 20 to 30 eggs, or even more. By contrast, women receiving mild, low-dose IVF produce 8 to 10 eggs. The ovaries are not suppressed at the outset, and there is no manipulation of the patient’s cycle.
Image: IVF shots, via Shutterstock.