Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Despite improving science and public awareness campaigns around fertility issues and ways to treat them, fewer women are seeking help when they are having trouble becoming or remaining pregnant, according to an analysis of federal data. In fact, the analysis shows, the number of women who are seeking help for infertility or recurrent miscarriages is actually on the decline. More from the Detroit Free Press:
“There’s always been this perception these things are on the rise when the data have never supported that,” says Anjani Chandra, lead author of the report, out Wednesday from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Findings are based on a survey of 22,682 men and women, ages 15-44, conducted from 2006 to 2010, but much of the focus is on ages 25-44, because that’s when the report says “infertility service use may be more prevalent.”
In that age group, 17% of women had ever used any infertility service, which the report says is “a significant decrease from 20% in 1995.” Among childless women of those ages who have current fertility problems, the drop from 56% in 1982 to 38% most recently is “significantly less” than in 1982.
Kurt Barnhart, president of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, says the report confirms what he already knows.
“Fertility services are underutilized and not reaching everybody,” says Barnhart, an OB-GYN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Image: Negative pregnancy test, via Shutterstock
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Monday, January 13th, 2014
Country music star Joe Nichols and his wife Heather are expecting their third child, PEOPLE.com is reporting:
There’s another baby on the way for the country crooner and his wife Heather, his rep confirms to PEOPLE. In addition to the couple’s 20-month-old daughterDylan River, Nichols is also dad to Ashelyn, 15.
“Joe, Heather and Dylan are very excited to be welcoming a new baby by summer,” his rep tells PEOPLE.
Nichols, 37, announced the news Thursday on Twitter.
“Aaaaaaand we’re pregnant again! Another baby Nichols on the way in 2014!” he wrote.
This is especially happy news as the couple, who have been married since 2007, has been open about their difficulty carrying a baby to term. Heather suffers from an auto-immune condition which led to five miscarriages before fertility treatments and a number of specialists helped her to successfully deliver Dylan.
Image: Joe Nichols, via DFree / Shutterstock.com
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Monday, December 30th, 2013
Dreonna Breton, a Pennsylvania nurse, is alleging that she was fired from her job after refusing a flu shot because of concerns that the vaccine would cause her to suffer a miscarriage. CNN.com has more on the story, which emerged even as a growing number of states are reporting widespread flu activity to the CDC:
“I’m a healthy person. I take care of my body. For me, the potential risk was not worth it,” Dreonna Breton told CNN Sunday. “I’m not gonna be the one percent of people that has a problem.”
Breton, 29, worked as a nurse at Horizons Healthcare Services in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when she was told that all employees were required to get a flu shot. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention advises that all health care professionals get vaccinated annually.
She told her employers that she would not get the vaccine after she explained that there were very limited studies of the effects on pregnant women.
Breton came to the decision with her family after three miscarriages.
The mother of one submitted letters from her obstetrician and primary care doctor supporting her decision, but she was told that she would be fired on December 17 if she did not receive the vaccine before then.
Horizons Healthcare Services spokesman Alan Peterson told CNN affiliate WPVI that it’s unconscionable for a health care worker not to be immunized and that pregnant women are more susceptible to the flu.
The CDC website states that getting a flu shot while pregnant is the best protection for pregnant women and their babies.
Image: Pregnant woman about to get vaccine, via Shutterstock
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Monday, October 21st, 2013
The causes of miscarriage are commonly misunderstood by many Americans, a new national survey has shown. For example, most respondents said they believe miscarriage is rare, and that emotional stress is the major cause of miscarriage–two incorrect notions. More from LiveScience:
These false beliefs often lead to feelings of guilt or blame in parents who experience a miscarriage, according to the researchers.
“Miscarriage is a traditionally taboo subject that is rarely discussed publicly – even though nearly 1 million occur in the U.S. each year, making it the most common complication of pregnancy,” study researcher Dr. S. Zev Williams, an OB-GYN at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said in a statement.
Williams and his colleagues surveyed 1,083 men and women in the United States about their personal experiences and beliefs about miscarriage, the causes and frequency of miscarriages and their emotional impact on people who experience them.
About 65 percent of those surveyed said they thought miscarriage was rare, when in fact, it occurs in one out of four pregnancies, the researchers said. However, 66 percent reported that the emotional impact is severe and potentially equivalent to losing a child, which is a reality for many people who experience one.
Chromosomal abnormalities are in fact the most common cause of miscarriages, accounting for 60 to 80 percent. But among the survey respondents, 76 percent listed a stressful event as a common cause, 74 percent cited longstanding stress and 64 percent cited lifting a heavy object. Forty-one percent said they believed miscarriages may be due to sexually transmitted diseases, 31 percent cited previous abortions, and 28 percent cited implanted long-term forms of birth control.
Nearly a quarter of those surveyed falsely believed that a mother not wanting the pregnancy could result in a miscarriage.
Results of the survey were presented Oct. 17 at the meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in Boston.
Image: Sad woman, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
The chemical compound called bisphenol-A (BPA), which is found in many plastics and food can linings, has been linked to a heightened miscarriage risk in women who struggled to conceive or have experienced repeated miscarriages. The finding comes from a new study presented this week to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. More from The Associated Press:
The work is not nearly enough to prove a link, but it adds to ‘‘the biological plausibility’’ that BPA might affect fertility and other aspects of health, said Dr. Linda Giudice, a California biochemist who is president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The study was to be presented Monday at the group’s annual conference in Boston. Last month, ASRM and an obstetricians group urged more attention to environmental chemicals and their potential hazards for pregnant women.
BPA, short for bisphenol-A, and certain other environmental chemicals can have very weak, hormone-like effects. Tests show BPA in nearly everyone’s urine, though the chemical has been removed from baby bottles and many reusable drink containers in recent years. The federal Food and Drug Administration says BPA is safe as used now in other food containers.
Most miscarriages are due to egg or chromosome problems, and a study in mice suggested BPA might influence that risk, said Dr. Ruth Lathi, a Stanford University reproductive endocrinologist.
With a federal grant, she and other researchers studied 115 newly pregnant women with a history of infertility or miscarriage; 68 wound up having miscarriages and 47 had live births.
Researchers say it is virtually impossible to avoid exposure to BPA completely. The AP offers some tips on how to minimize exposure:
To minimize BPA exposure, avoid cooking or warming food in plastic because heat helps the chemical leak out, she said. Don’t leave water bottles in the sun, limit use of canned foods and avoid handling cash register receipts, which often are coated with resins that contain BPA.
Image: Food can, via Shutterstock
Get our Everything Pregnancy blogger’s take on the link between BPA and your miscarriage risk here.
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