Infertility In The News: Week of 11/18-11/25

Male Infertility:

Advice for Men Struggling with Infertility:

Sperm Length Linked to Men’s Fertility in U.S. News:

Obese Teen Boys have Less Testosterone, Risk Infertility

Infertility Awareness:

Womens’ Knowledge on Infertility: Interview with Barbara Collura by Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch on –

Bill & Giuliana Discuss Infertility Issues on Katie Couric’s Show:

A Variety of Factors Can Create Difficulty in Couple’s Efforts to Conceive in Chicago Tribune:–tms–mayoclnctnmc-a20121122-20121122,0,2244916.story

Banned PCB’s Linked to Lower Fertility by Jennifer Corbett Dooren in The Wall Street Journal:

New Network for Infertile Patients in Latin America:


Sperm Loans: Banking Fertility Hopes for Emirati would-be parents. Published November 25th, 2012 on


The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins PRIOR to Pregnancy

Most women know (or at least find out at their first ob/gyn . after conception) about the importance of prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. What some women do not know is how beneficial taking a prenatal vitamin while trying to conceive really is to boost their efforts of prepping the body for a healthy pregnancy. While it is best to check with your physician before taking any type of supplement below is a brief list of important vitamins to look for on the nutritional facts label of any prenatal vitamins you are considering. The American Pregnancy Association encourages women to look at pregnancy as not a nine-month journey, but a year-long journey prepping the body at least 3 months prior to getting pregnant.

Vitamins vital to conception and pregnancy:

Folic Acid AND B12: greatly decreases the chances of a baby being born with neural tube defects by assisting with spinal development. Adding the additional B12 supplement further reduces the risk of NTD studies have shown (

DHA’s (Omega-3’s): extremely important at least 3-6 months before pregnancy to ensure depletion of the mother’s stored omega-3 fatty acids does not occur.

For a thorough list of Essential Vitamins and Nutrients (found on the American Pregnancy Association website):

Polychlorinated Biphenyls Can Hurt Fertility Study Finds

Despite being banned in the late 1970’s PCB’s are still very much in our daily lives. The use of PCB’s has been banned in products produced after 1979, but many products may not have been disposed of properly and leak into the environment. Today most of the exposure occurs in the kitchen. High fat foods absorb the chemicals that have been leaked. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)provides the following list of what contains PCB’s (complete list found on

  • Transformers and capacitors
  • Other electrical equipment including voltage regulators, switches, reclosers, bushings, and electromagnets
  • Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems
  • Old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors
  • Fluorescent light ballasts
  • Cable insulation
  • Thermal insulation material including fiberglass, felt, foam, and cork
  • Adhesives and tapes
  • Oil-based paint
  • Caulking
  • Plastics
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Floor finish

It has been known for years that these harmful PCB’s can cause cancer and other health issues on the body’s systems. Most recently a study completed by the National Institute of Health on PCB’s and their effects on reproductive health. The study was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives and it included 501 couples that were trying to conceive during 2005-2009. The couples supplied blood tests to determine the level of chemical at the beginning of the study, kept a menstruation log and results of all home pregnancy tests completed during the study. This continued over the years of the study and researchers discovered that as the chemical levels in the couple’s increased their ability to conceive decreased (study states 18-21% in females and 17-29% in males). While there is no way to completely avoid exposure to these chemicals, one can avoid eating processed foods, microwave foods in plastic containers and foods that have been exposed to pesticides.

You can read all about the research study here:

Knowing Maternal Menopause Age is Important for Your Fertility

While we may have cringed listening to our mothers discuss the “birds and the bees” during puberty another conversation with our mothers or grandmothers later in life is just as important. Finding out when your mother started menopause is crucial in understanding your ovarian reserve and the rate at which it will start to decrease.

A research study completed at the Fertility Clinic of Copenhagen University Hospital determined that indeed hereditary factors (menopausal age of mother/grandmother) are a strong indicator to when a female’s fertility will start to decline. The study involved approximately 527 women and looked at the following:

-Markers of Ovarian Reserve (AMH- Anti-Mullerian Hormone)

-Antral Follicle Count (AFC)

-The age of onset of natural maternal menopause

What the researchers discovered was that if your mother and/or grandmother started menopause early (defined as 45 years of age or younger), a female’s ovarian reserve will decrease earlier than those whose mothers/grandmothers hit menopause later in life (delayed decrease).


To read the full study completed by Janne G. Bentzen, M.D., Ph.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues: