In the News Round-Up: Egg Freezing

There has been a lot of press regarding the ASRM’s discussion about Human Egg-Freezing. Below is a round-up of what we have found online in the past weeks that are quite helpful:

 

 

You got pregnant how? Old Tales Passed Down

We have all heard them at one point or another in our lives whether it be from a neighbor, doctor or that zany relative on your mother’s side. Those tips or “tales” passed down through generations on how “so and so” got pregnant from touching a statue, having sex during a certain moon phase or by using egg whites. Wives tales were the oral version of storytelling for tips (many uncertified) on certain topics- mainly how to get pregnant or puberty. However they are also used to keep children from doing “bad” things. Every culture seems to have different tips but we all have the end goal of getting pregnant in mind. No matter what you believe, some of these could be a lot of fun! As always, please consult with a physician before trying anything that could be dangerous.

Tales on How to Get Pregnant:

-Stand on your head after sex.

-Do an upside-down bicycle after sex.

-Have sex standing up.

-Have sex during the full moon.

-Throw your under on your roof, retrieve on the night of a new moon. Glamour magazine posted an article this month about 4 Weird Ways to Get Pregnant, the article can be read here: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2012/09/4-really-weird-ways-to-get-pre.html. A tribe in Africa’s Congo Region had this tale on how to get pregnant.

- The same article discussed eating blueberry jam straight from the jar.

-Drink grapefruit juice (Popular British tale)

-Having your husband not wear socks in bed while trying to conceive.

-Visit the Ripley’s Believe or Not! Fertility statues: You can read all about the legend here: http://www.ripleys.com/weird/the-legend-of-the-fertility-statues/

-Eat wild yams to conceive twins (Popular African tale-Yoruba Tribe)

Tips on Conceiving Boys:

-Pack your partner’s male region in ice, the theory is that sperm that carry female chromosomes prefer warmer temperatures, while “boy-makers” prefer cold.

-Eat more salt at least three months of pre-conception. For a girl, it is said to eat more sweets.

Tips on Conceiving Girls:

-Put a wooden spoon and a pair of scissors under your bed.

How to tell if it’s a boy or girl after conception:

- Take a ring suspended on a string and dangle it over your pregnant belly. Old wive’s tales say that if the ring swings from side to side it is a little girl, if it circles the belly then it’s a boy!

-Women who have acne during pregnancy are said to be carrying boys.

The best way for trying to conceive is Fertility Awareness. Recently the news was full of articles stating findings that showed women really just do not understand their fertility. In you are new to tracking your ovulation or just trying to understand your fertility the American Pregnancy Association is a great place to start as well.

Ovarian Tissue Transplant Explained

Business Insider has a 30 part series called Game Changers that explores advancements in health, technology, etc. Today’s specifically focused on “How Ovarian Tissue Transplants Work” while the article on Friday discussed the overall meaning to fertility of the treatment. Ovarian Tissue Transplants have been studied in great detail to help find ways to preserve fertility for those facing various types of cancer and would have to go through chemotherapy treatments. The results have been quite remarkable with 22 patients having successful live births from the procedure. There may be two markets that emerge from having Ovarian Tissue Transplant treatments available: those undergoing cancer treatment who wish to preserve their fertility for the later ability to have children and those young women who wish to preserve their fertility for later in life. The studies are still very much in the experimental stage and long-term issues are still unknown, but the idea that such a treatment being available in the future to preserve fertility or extend it is quite exciting!

To read more on the series on Ovarian Tissue Transplants: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-ovarian-tissue-transplants-could-change-fertility-2012-8

Suffering from Male Infertility: New Research Findings

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (right in our neighborhood!) published some findings this week that may mean great things for those who suffer from male fertility. The researchers used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)from skin samples (unbelievable to think that a skin graft in the future could make a man fertile again!) to create precursor sperm cells.

You can read all about the amazing research being done here: http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(12)00225-2?switch=standard

Looking forward to hearing more about this in the future.

Rinovum Women’s Health – Tech 50 Finalist

The Pittsburgh Technology Council named Rinovum Women’s Health (formerly Ib2C) a finalist in the Life Sciences Category for their annual Tech 50 Awards. This is an exciting nomination for our company, we are very honored to be named a finalist. For more information on The Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Tech 50 Awards: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pittsburgh-technology-council-names-tech-50-award-finalists-650705/

Rinovum Women’s Health is currently in the final development stages of their first product, The Stork, designed to aid in conception for those struggling with getting pregnant. A number of contributing factors have led to declining fertility rates in not only the U.S, but worldwide. Our company hopes that The Stork will truly be the first step on the path to conception. We look forward to bringing you more product news this fall!

Ladies: Your brain on sex (and the new fact found about semen)

A recent study published in Science Daily discussed the findings of a protein in semen that acts on the female brain to promote ovulation. The protein that they have called (OIF) Ovulation-Inducing Factor was compared to the numerous proteins in the mammals they were studying. The research scientists discovered that this OIF was the same protein as the Nerve-Inducing Factor protein (in nerve cells through out the body).The NIF protein/OIF protein in semen will send a signal to the female’s brain (hypothalamus) and the pituitary gland to produce/release hormones, which we know these hormones trigger the release of an egg.

The study was not on humans, therefore they are unsure what this implies for future studies on fertility in humans. To read more about the work being done: http://bit.ly/PAQRag

Childhood obesity studies say may affect future fertility

We all know that childhood obesity is on the rise, in fact according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), it has more than tripled in the past 30 years!! This is astonishing to some, especially when you think of how you were as a kid constantly running around with energy through the roof (I’d do anything to have some of that energy back). Then you glance around at all the junk food and fast food that is everywhere today and it doesn’t seem so unbelievable that childhood obesity has tripled.

Obesity early in life as a child can make everything so much harder for them. Depending on the child’s size they may not be able to participate in childhood activities like they should (I mean this is the time in their lives when they should be engaged in activities and developing their personalities). Not to mention how much harder it is being the overweight child at school; unfortunately bullying exists and it can be so horrible for them. The problems that come from childhood obesity not only affects the child socially and physically (outwards appearance-wise), but it has detrimental affects on their health short-term and long-term.

Short-term:

  • high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • pre-diabetes
  • sleep apnea, bone problems, joint issues
  • psychological issues: low self-esteem

Long-term: (Childhood obesity is most likely to cause obesity as an adult)

  • The list includes: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancers…
  • REPRODUCTIVE ISSUES

A study published in the Science News yesterday, http://bit.ly/PlIk8Q, discussed how childhood obesity may affect fertility and the reproductive system later in life. The results had many implications that childhood obesity is affecting the reproductive system in a different way than what generations prior have experienced.  Any extreme difference in body fat or caloric intake will change the natural process of the body’s systems; anorexia and obesity will cause changes to the reproductive system, but in different ways. Younger female children struggling from obesity are entering into puberty much sooner than their mothers or grandmothers had. While this will vary based on heredity, studies have suggested that endocrine signals from fat may be disrupting a neurohormone, kisspeptin- a hormone identified as a part of the reproductive system.

Another theory was the disruption of the body’s natural circadian clock from changes in the child’s diet. Despite these theories needing further research, the implications that a child’s diet will affect them later in life are clear.

Encouraging children at an early age to partake in an active lifestyle can help your child all throughout life, instilling healthy habits today for a healthy, happy tomorrow!

Is there a better season to have an IVF procedure done?

Ahhhh Springtime, that magical time during the year (at least here in the mid-atlantic region of the U.S) that plants come back to life, temperatures rise to thaw us all out and according to some research: people become more active or frisky. It also appears to be the best time for a female to have oocyte retrieval after stimulation for IVF with ICSI.

A recent study was completed in Brazil on whether or not the time of year affected the fertilization rate during an IVF cycle. What the study found was quite interesting, Spring IVF procedures with ICSI had higher fertilization rates than any other season by approximately 4+% more depending on the comparison season. The rates were specifically:

Spring- 73.5%

Summer- 68.7%

Autumn- 69.0%

Winter-67.9%

There were approximately 1900 participants and they were organizaed into groups based on when they would have their oocyte retrieval. What was interesting in the study was that while the oocyte retrieval was higher in Spring, it did not effect the pregnancy rates, which remained at 33% for all seasons nor did the study take into consideration how the male’s sperm was affected by season.

The full article can be read here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577524824251585782.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

Male fertility and seasons:

There have been a variety of research studies throughout the past few years on the effect of the seasons on both males and females sexual activity. Previous studies have looked into how the seasons change a male’s sexual activity and sperm count.

Studies in 2009 showed that sexual activity appears to be low in Spring, but high in late summer/early autumn. According to some studies, the male hormone testosterone is higher in the end of summer resulting in more sexually active males in the fall. Another study found that male sperm counts are higher in spring due to less sexual activity and higher temperatures.

What we do know from studies is that when there are warmer/not hot, but “agreeably-warm” temperatures and periods of longer daylight, both male and female fertility rates appear to be more successful. Will you be testing the circadian method this Spring?

Paying for Fertility Treatments

There was a good informational article in Time’s Healthland today about paying for the cost of fertility treatments. The figure quoted in the article for the average cost of IVF was a little over $8,000 and didn’t even include the cost of medications., in many cases this can end up being between $12K-$15K. I don’t know about you, but that’s a sizeable amount to save, not to mention that many couples end up having to do IVF more than once to have a successful cycle. (Let’s leave out the part of the emotional cost and those horrid bruises from all the injections).

Currently, only 15 states have mandated infertility coverage. Even the coverage in these states has very explicit details about what they will cover, timeframe, diagnosis and then there are caps to the coverage, although it is still some financial relief to those trying to conceive. If you do not happen to live in one of these 15 states there may be other options available to you listed in the article here, http://ti.me/MF4o0C.

While options are still limited today (?Why?) , there are some alternatives to loans, although everyone should decide what will work best for them based on their financial position. The RESOLVE organization has some helpful information on different types of insurance companies and what basic coverage does/does not cover in general. http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/health-insurance-101.html. Make sure to check out their pages on how to get involved!

Ib2c Mentioned in the Medical Device Daily!

Ib2C was mentioned in the Medical Device Daily today, Thursday, June 14th, 2012. The company was briefly mentioned at the end of an article on Auxogyn. The article was about companies that are developing products to address the population suffering from infertility. Auxogyn- with their first product on Early Embryo Viability. OvaScience, INVO Bioscience, Incept BioSystems and Ib2C.