Posts Tagged ‘ Pregnancy ’

Good Timing and New IVF Test May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Embryo CulturesIVF success rates depend on a number of factors such as the woman’s age, reproductive history, and lifestyle. In Britain, more than 60,000 cycles of IVF are performed every year, but only about a quarter (24 percent) of those treatments are successful.

Scientists believe that bad timing can be one reason for the lack of success, because an embryo wasn’t transferred to a woman’s body at the right time. To help improve IVF success rates, scientists in Madrid have now created a test that will identify the ideal window of time for transferring an embryo.

This test will analyze genes within the woman’s womb lining to determine when they have entered into a receptive phase.

“For most women there is a two to four day stretch when the lining, or endometrium, sends out crucial chemical signals that allow the embryo to attach. For some women the fertile window is shifted earlier or later in the cycle or is unusually brief, however,” reports The Guardian.

A preliminary study was conducted on 85 women who had previously gone through multiple rounds of IVF with no success. But when gene analysis was used, one-third of the participants became pregnant.

If approved, this test is likely to increase IVF success rates significantly, which may be beneficial for millennial women who are choosing IVF.

“I think it will make a significant difference in the expectations of couples and how we can explain failures,” said Professor Juan Garcia-Velasco, who is currently leading an international trial of the test. “Until now, the endometrium was kind of a black box. Now we can say this was the problem and this is what we can do about it.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

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Pregnant Women Are Gaining More Weight Than Needed

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Pregnant BellyGaining weight during pregnancy is inevitable—after all, your body is carrying another human—but moms need to be careful about packing on unneeded pounds or extra “baby weight.”

New research confirms that nearly half of women (47 percent) gain more than they should while pregnant, which can have a potentially negative impact on both the infant and mother.

Many professionals, including Dr. Karen Cooper, ob-gyn and director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Be Well Moms program, believe misconceptions are to blame. “Most women feel that pregnancy is the time when weight does not matter and it is an opportunity to eat as much as desired,” she said. “Most believe the myth that the weight will be lost quickly and easily after delivery.”

The study, which was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, collected information from more than 44,000 mothers who gave birth between 2010 and 2011. The women were separated into categories based on whether their body mass index (BMI) were deemed underweight, at a normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Only 32 percent of the study’s participants gained an amount that fell within the recommended guidelines for their weight category. According to Health Day, the “Institute of Medicine guidelines recommend gaining 25 to 35 pounds if normal weight at the start of pregnancy; 28 to 40 pounds if underweight; 15 to 25 pounds if overweight; and 11 to 20 pounds if obese at the start of pregnancy.”

The findings showed a direct relationship between high BMI and more weight gain during pregnancy than was recommended. Those who were overweight or obese prior to becoming pregnant were two to three times more likely to gain excess weight, than those at a normal weight.

Not only does a mother’s weight influence how large the newborn will be, but gaining too much weight can increase the risk of premature birth. The newborn is also more likely to develop conditions like hypertension and gestational diabetes, according to Dr. Cooper.

Experts do not recommend dieting during pregnancy, so it’s best to regulate your weight by making health-conscious choices when it comes to eating food and staying active—and to not let any weight worries get the best of you.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need
Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need
Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need

Image: Pregnant belly via Shutterstock

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More Millennial Women Choosing IVF Than Ever Before

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Pregnant CoupleIn vitro fertilization is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, especially in millennial women, according to a new report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).

In 2013, 2,000 more babies were born through the use of IVF than in 2012. Approximately 175,000 cycles of the treatment led to more than 63,000 infants being born. The report also notes that more women, especially those under 35, are choosing to transfer a single embryo, rather than multiple embryos—which eliminates the possibility of multiple pregnancies through one IVF cycle.

“The goal of reducing the incidence of multiple pregnancies is extremely important, and patients can see from the data that fewer embryos transferred do not mean a lower chance of pregnancy,” said James Toner, M.D., president of SART.

Since fewer women are transferring multiple embryos, twin and triplet birth rates resulting from IVF have noticeably decreased. The report also states that from 2012 to 2013, the number of twins dropped from 12,436 to 12,085, and the number of triplets fell from 411 to 376.

These trends are likely to continue along the same patterns in the coming years—especially with more advanced IVF techniques, like Britain’s newly approved “three-parent” IVF technique and the newest stem cell and IVF technology that may lead to same-sex couples having a biological child.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Image: Pregnant couple via Shutterstock

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Three IUDs and Implants Can Still Be Used Past End Dates

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Woman with IUDWomen who opt for intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants as birth control may be able to use the contraceptives longer — and with the same effectiveness — than the recommended end date, according to a new study.

The research, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, confirms that three types of hormonal IUDs and implants (Mirena, Implanon, and Nexplanon) can last a year longer than what is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

An IUD (like Mirena) is a small T-shaped piece of plastic that is inserted directly into the uterus for up to five years; implants (like Implanon and Nexplanon) are matchstick-sized plastic rods that are inserted into the arm for up to three years.

“Both implants and IUDs work by releasing small doses of a synthetic version of the female sex hormone progestin, which keeps ovaries from releasing eggs,” notes CBS News. “There’s only a certain amount of a progestin available in these devices, which is why the FDA sets an expiration date.”

By extending the lifetime of these devices, women and health care companies could save money, but manufacturers may be reluctant to endorse extensions that could cause them to sell fewer contraceptives.

Researchers followed 800 women between the ages of 18 and 45, which included 263 women with IUDs and 237 with implants. The women were examined for one year after their device expired. “There were no pregnancies in the implant group and only one pregnancy in the IUD group, a failure rate similar to that of hormonal IUDs within the approved five years of use,” reports Health Day.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her adorable baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Take a CVS Pregnancy Test
How to Take a CVS Pregnancy Test
How to Take a CVS Pregnancy Test

Image: Woman holding IUD via Shutterstock

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ANOTHER Reason to Avoid BPA During Pregnancy

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

PregnantBellyNew research suggests that prenatal exposure to bisphenol A, or BPA, may cause your child to develop health issues, like diabetes and heart disease, later in life. BPA is an hormone-disrupting chemical used to manufacture plastics, such as plastic bottles, metal cans, and even cash register receipts.

The study, which was published in the journal Endocrinology, reveals that exposure to the chemical can potentially cause a type of oxidative stress, called nitrosative stress, in the mother and unborn baby. Oxidative stress occurs when the body cannot neutralize free radicals (or highly-reactive chemicals) quickly enough to correct an imbalance.

Data was collected from 24 pregnant women to measure the effect of BPA exposure. During the first trimester, blood was drawn to evaluate the women’s BPA levels. Then the women were divided into two groups—those with low levels of BPA and those with high levels. After the babies were delivered, blood from the umbilical cords was tested to conclude how much chemical byproduct was created.

“The blood analysis revealed that the human mothers exposed to higher levels of BPA, and their infants, showed signs of oxidative stress caused by overexposure to nitric oxide-derived free radicals,” reports ScienceDaily.com. There were large amounts of chemical byproducts in the blood.

The FDA states that BPA is not harmful at the current levels that it occurs in our foods, but many studies provide evidence to dispute this claim. A recent study noted the dangers of prenatal exposure to phthalates, another chemical found in plastics. All in all, it’s better to be safe, and expecting moms should limit their exposure to the chemical until there is firm scientific consensus about BPA’s affects.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?

Image: Pregnant Woman via Shuttershock

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