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Donor-Sperm Kids No Different From Their Peers: Study

Posted 1 day 16 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 – Children conceived using donor sperm are no different physically or mentally from other kids, a new Australian study says. "For prospective parents, the decision to use donor sperm can seem like a step into the unknown," said study researcher David Amor, a professor and clinical geneticist at Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Parkville, Victoria. "Our results should provide reassurance that the physical, psychological and mental health of children conceived using donor sperm is similar to that of children in the general population," he said. However, the researchers acknowledged more studies are needed to confirm these findings in the wider population. Amor and his colleagues analyzed questionnaires completed by mothers of 224 Australian children, ages 5 to 11, who were conceived using donor sperm. The youngsters' health and well-being were similar to ... Read more

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Estrogen May Influence Women's Depression Risk

Posted 1 day 16 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 – Women exposed to estrogen for longer periods of time during the reproductive years may have a lower risk of depression, a new study finds. Previous research has suggested that reproductive hormones play a role in depression risk among women, yet hormone fluctuations are something all women experience. So, the study authors tried to figure out how hormones might be linked to depression. The researchers focused on estradiol. This is the main form of estrogen present during a woman's reproductive years. Estradiol affects levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that's involved in depression. Factors that might increase the length of exposure to estradiol include a younger age at first menstruation and how many menstrual cycles a woman has over her lifetime, the researchers said. This study of more than 1,300 women found that being exposed to estradiol for a longer ... Read more

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Good Diet, Exercise While Pregnant Could Cut C-section Risk

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – Eating a healthy diet and exercising during pregnancy isn't just good for the developing baby. A new analysis of 36 studies including a total of more than 12,500 women suggests these behaviors can also lower a mom-to-be's chances of having a Cesarean-section delivery or developing diabetes while pregnant. Overall, healthy habits reduced the risk of needing a C-section by about 10 percent, said study author Shakila Thangaratinam. She's a professor of maternal and perinatal health at Queen Mary University of London. A healthy lifestyle also reduced a woman's risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy – known as gestational diabetes – by 24 percent, the findings showed. Not surprisingly, healthy habits also trimmed the possibility of excess weight gain during pregnancy. "Based on all the evidence to date, what we found was a healthy diet and moderate ... Read more

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Little Evidence That Vasectomy Raises Prostate Cancer Risk

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 – For men who have had or might undergo a vasectomy, there is good news: A major study finds scant evidence that the procedure raises their risk of prostate cancer. "At most, there is a trivial association between vasectomy and prostate cancer that is unlikely to be causal," concluded a team led by Dr. R. Jeffrey Karnes, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The analysis, based on data from 53 studies on the subject, was published online July 17 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. As the researchers noted, couples who want to avoid unintended pregnancy often place the responsibility on the female partner. And sometimes, conception occurs despite the use of birth control pills or devices. In contrast, vasectomy has a very low risk of unintended pregnancy. And, "given the lower costs and lower risk of complications for vasectomy compared with [female] tubal ... Read more

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Impaired Eyesight May Be First Sign of Zika Damage in Babies

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 17, 2017 – Infants exposed to the Zika virus in the womb should have their eyes examined for possible virus-related abnormalities, according to a new report. "All infants with potential Zika virus exposure should undergo screening eye examinations regardless of [central nervous system] abnormalities, timing of maternal infection during pregnancy, or laboratory confirmation," said Dr. Andrea Zin and colleagues. Zin is with the National Institute of Women's Health in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In some cases, evidence of Zika infection may only show up in the eyes, the study found. The results were published July 17 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. "Eye abnormalities may be the only initial finding in congenital Zika virus infection," Zin said in a journal news release. Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, usually causes only mild symptoms in healthy adults. But fetal exposure during ... Read more

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Asthma Control Essential in Pregnancy, Study Suggests

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017 – Children whose mothers had uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy are at increased risk of developing the disease at a young age, a new study finds. The findings suggest that "maintaining asthma control during pregnancy is an area for possible prevention of asthma in future generations," lead author Xiaoqin Liu said. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 7,200 children in Denmark who were born to mothers with active asthma during pregnancy. Those born to mothers who had mild controlled asthma were less likely to be diagnosed with asthma at an early age than those whose moms had mild uncontrolled asthma, moderate-to-severe controlled asthma, or moderate-to-severe uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy, the study found. The study was published online July 13 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in ... Read more

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Experimental Vaccines Might Shield Fetus From Zika

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Two experimental vaccines might help protect human fetuses against the Zika virus, a new mouse study suggests. Researchers found female mice that were vaccinated before they got pregnant had babies with no sign of Zika infection. "There are several vaccines in human trials right now, but to date, none of them has been shown to protect during pregnancy. We tested two different vaccines, and they both provided substantial protection," said co-senior study author Dr. Michael Diamond, a professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Though Zika doesn't make most people seriously ill, it can be devastating for fetuses, causing problems with brain development, including an abnormally small head. Zika can also restrict babies' growth in the womb or trigger a miscarriage, researchers said. The team tested the ability of two experimental vaccines ... Read more

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Breast-Feeding May Lower Risk of MS, Study Says

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2017 – Women with a longer history of breast-feeding may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than mothers who skip breast-feeding or nurse for briefer periods, a new study suggests. Researchers compared nearly 400 women with MS or its precursor, known as clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), with a similar healthy group. They found that mothers who had breast-fed one or more children for a total of 15 months or longer were 53 percent less likely to develop MS or CIS than those with zero to four months of total breast-feeding. "No one has shown before that breast-feeding could have a prolonged benefit on the mother's immune system," said study author Dr. Annette Langer-Gould. She's a research scientist in neurology at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, Calif. "This is one more piece of evidence that women who want to breast-feed should be supported to do so," ... Read more

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Pregnancy Complication Costs U.S. Billions

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 11, 2017 – Preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication, continues to increase in the United States, exacting a significant economic toll, a new study shows. The condition involves the sudden onset of high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. It threatens both mothers and babies, and accounts for $2.2 billion in health care costs nationally in the first year after birth, the new analysis found. Analyzing U.S. data, the researchers also found that mothers with preeclampsia and their infants had roughly twice the risk of health complications compared to those without preeclampsia. The results were published July 11 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "Existing treatment options for preeclampsia and research into the disease have been limited despite the scale of the disease burden and its high growth rate," said senior investigator Dr. ... Read more

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Most Relationships Survive Struggles With Infertility

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017 – There's good news for couples who are struggling to conceive. Those who are undergo fertility treatment are no more likely to break up, according to a new study. It's been suggested that the disappointment of infertility and the stress of treatment can push relationships to the breaking point. But a study of more than 40,000 women in Denmark who had fertility treatment between 1994 and 2009 found no link between it and separation or divorce. Researchers said 20 percent split up within 16 years, compared to 22 percent of women who were not treated. The study was presented this week at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Geneva, Switzerland. Researcher Mariana Martins said the findings should reassure couples who have had or are considering in vitro fertilization. "Findings on the security of relationships and ... Read more

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Teen Birth Rate Drops Again to All-Time Low: CDC

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Teen births in the United States dropped to a record low last year, falling 9 percent from 2015, U.S. health officials reported Friday. The overall birth rate declined, too, dropping 1 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of births in 2016 was 3,941,109. Moreover, the fertility rate declined to 62 births per 1,000 among women of childbearing age – a record low for the nation, researchers found. Births among 15-to 19-year-olds have declined dramatically since 2007 – more than 50 percent, said lead researcher Brady Hamilton, a statistician at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "It's really quite astounding for a demographic rate in an age group to decline that much," he added. The teen birth rate was 20.3 births per 1,000 female teens in 2016, compared to ... Read more

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Many U.S. Teens Still Denied 'Morning After' Pill at Pharmacies

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has lifted age restrictions on the use of the "morning after" pill, new research suggests that many teens may still have a tough time trying to get the emergency contraception. In the study, researchers posing as teenagers were often told erroneously by pharmacies that they needed a prescription for the over-the-counter pill or they were denied it altogether because of their age. "In 2013, the FDA lifted the age restrictions for emergency contraception, and a lot of people thought, 'Great, we won, it's over, and now it's available and acceptable to anyone without any identification,' " said study author Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. "But knowing a little about what happens to my patients, and understanding that just because there were a lot ... Read more

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Most U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It'

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – Sex is everywhere in the media, and so you may be convinced that today's teens are always looking to "hook-up." But new federal research says it's just not so. Instead, the study found that most teenagers in high school aren't sexually active. "The myth is that every kid in high school is having sex, and it's not true," noted Dr. Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children's Hospital, who reviewed the findings. "It's less than half, and it's been less than half for more than 10 years," she said. The study found that only 42 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys aged 15 to 19 reported having sex at least once. And Breuner said that finding is nothing new. Going back to 2002, fewer than half of older teens told researchers that they are sexually active, federal data show. Further, most teens who choose to go all the way wind up losing their ... Read more

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Tissue Testing Can Spot Zika at Birth: CDC

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – Exposure to the Zika virus in pregnancy can wreak havoc on babies, but diagnosing the infection before birth remains a challenge. Now, there's some good news: U.S. health officials say testing placental and fetal tissue after a child is born can confirm or rule out infection. Such testing found that only 1 in 10 who were in danger of being infected actually were, and infection didn't automatically mean birth defects, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. "Testing of placental tissues from live births can continue to be considered when results of maternal Zika virus testing are not definitive or testing is not performed within the optimal time," said the researchers led by Dr. Sarah Reagan-Steiner, of the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Zika infection is most often spread by ... Read more

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Pregnancy Doesn't Raise Odds for Breast Cancer's Return

Posted 4 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 3, 2017 – There's good news for younger breast cancer survivors: Pregnancy does not seem to increase the chances that their disease will return, researchers report. "Our findings confirm that pregnancy after breast cancer should not be discouraged, even for women with ER-positive [estrogen-sensitive] cancer," said study author Dr. Matteo Lambertini, a medical oncologist at the Institut Jules Bordet, in Brussels. Lambertini's group tracked outcomes for more than 1,200 breast cancer survivors. The research showed that those who became pregnant did not have any higher risk of cancer recurrence and death over an average of 10 years follow-up, compared to women who did not become pregnant. This was true even if the women had experienced estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors. ER-positive breast cancer is fueled by estrogen, and it was thought that increased levels of the ... Read more

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