Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
About half of American women who are of reproductive age don’t discuss reproductive issues with their doctors, compounding some misinformation and confusion around fertility and pregnancy, according to new research published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. More from Time.com:
As a result, the researchers, from the Yale School of Medicine, found that women between ages 18 and 40 weren’t aware of some the important factors that influence fertility and their ability to get pregnant, as well as about basic prenatal practices once they were expecting.
Among the most notable findings, which were published in the journal, Fertility & Sterility :
- 30% of the women reported that they only visited a reproductive health provider less than once a year or not at all.
- 50% of the women did not know that taking multivitamins and folic acid are recommended to avoid birth defects.
- A little over 25% of women did not know that things like STDs, smoking and obesity impact fertility.
- 20% did not know that aging can impact fertility and increase rates of miscarriage
- 50% of the women thought that having sex multiple times in a day increased their likelihood of getting pregnant
- Over 33% of women thought that different sex positions can increase their odds of getting pregnant
- 10% did not know that they should have sex before ovulation to increase the chances of getting pregnant instead of after ovulation
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Image: Pregnant woman, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Mothers who take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy may have babies with a lower risk of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study published this week in Journal of the American Medical Association. CNN.com has more on the study:
Researchers in Norway looked at data from 85,000 pregnancies, and found that women who took the supplement four weeks before pregnancy, and through the eighth week of pregnancy, were 39% less likely to have children with autism.
The Norwegian study is the largest to date on the benefits of folic acid for autism prevention, and marks one of the first tangible things a woman can do to reduce her risk of giving birth to a child with the disorder.
“This is pretty exciting,” said Alycia Halladay, senior director for environmental and clinical sciences for Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy group. “It actually supports the idea of actionable things women can do before they become pregnant, and right as conception happens.”
Experts have known for some time that taking folic acid can prevent neural tube birth defects like spina bifida in developing fetuses. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines call for all women of child-bearing age – not just those who plan to get pregnant – to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent birth defects. The same dose appears to provide some benefit in preventing autism, according to the research.
The study supports earlier research from 2012 that found that women who take prenatal vitamins–which are rich in folic acid–also lower their babies’ autism risk by as much as 40 percent.
Image: Pregnant woman taking supplements, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Two types of cancer that affects children have declined in frequency since more pregnant women started taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy and folic acid has been added to grain products like cereals, a new study has found. The benefit is in addition to the number of neural tube defects that are known to be prevented by the supplement. The New York Times has more:
The study, published online May 21 in Pediatrics, found no difference in the incidence of all childhood cancers combined. But for two types, the difference was significant.
The incidence of primitive neuroectodermal tumors, a nervous system lesion, declined by 44 percent, while the incidence of Wilms tumor, a kidney cancer, declined by 20 percent.
The scientists acknowledge that no causal relationship can be inferred from the finding. Still, the lead author, Amy M. Linabery, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota, said, “We feel that this is a positive message — folic acid fortification is not increasing rates of cancer.”
She continued: “We’ve generated some new hypotheses, but we need follow-up studies.”
Image: Pregnant woman with vitamins, via Shutterstock.
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