An Australian study suggests that female vets over-exposed to anaesthetics, X-rays and pesticides used could be at an increased risk of a miscarriage during pregnancy.
The concern is for those working in smaller practices where “scavenging” equipment used to suck away waste gases, such as nitrous oxide, may not be used.
Nitrous oxide inhalation can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage.
The risk to women exposed to these gases for at least one hour per week rose by around 250%, based on a research questionnaire carried out among 2,800 vets.
Those who carried out more than five X-rays per week had an 82% increased risk, and those who used pesticides had an 88% increased risk.
“We hope that our research will make vets aware of the need to fully protect themselves whilst they are working, especially if they planning to have a baby,” said lead researcher Dr Adeleh Shirangi.
(Via BBC News)
By Andy Merrett
Feb 28, 2008
A study published in “Alternative Therapies In Health and Medicine” (Feb, 2008) reports that blocked fallopian tubes can be opened without surgery, enabling infertile women to become pregnant naturally.
Authors of the study “Treating Fallopian Tube Occlusion with a Manual Pelvic Physical Therapy,” became curious after a pilot study published in “Fertility and Sterility” (9/06) showed the treatment returned fertility in women with blocked and swollen tubes.
A new study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research suggests that a high intake of caffeine during pregnancy may lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, regardless of its source.
While previous research showed a link between caffeine consumption and miscarriage, this is the first study to thoroughly control for morning sickness, which typically causes many women to avoid caffeine, explained De-Kun Li, MD, Ph.D., an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and lead investigator of the study. “This study strengthens the association between caffeine and miscarriage risk because it removes speculation that the association was due to reduced caffeine intake by healthy pregnant women,” Li said.
Sad news for the singer Lily Allen and her boyfriend Ed Simons. A spokesperson for Lily’s publicists confirmed “that Lily Allen has suffered a miscarriageÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and we ask that her privacy be respected at this difficult time.”
The miscarriage reportedly occurred after returning from a holiday in the Maldives.
According to statistics, one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage, which accounts for nearly a quarter of a million each year. It proves to be a very tough time for a large number of couples, but the truth is that – in time – you can move on from the pain. Many women enjoy healthy pregnancies after miscarriage, so while it’s tragic at the time, it certainly doesn’t rule out starting a family.
Our thoughts are with Lily and Ed at this time, and I do hope the media give them space to come to terms with this.
By Andy Merrett
Dec 18, 2007
A new piece of research has discovered something that many busy mums and dads are already all too well aware of.
Modern “human resource management practices” – or in other words, how employees are expected to work, what monitoring systems are in place, and how they perceive their jobs – are placing a significant strain on family relationships. And it’s particularly bad for women.
The strain on relationships has been measured as equivalent to working an extra 120 hours a year. That’s over two hours extra per week.
Employers are finding new ways of attempting to increase productivity, such as team-based forms of work, performance-related pay, individual development, and automated surveillance of how much employees work.
Strain is particularly high in more administrative roles, where monitoring is the standard, such as in call centres.
Both men and women may become anxious about childcare arrangements when they’re under pressure at work, but women are less likely to get help at home from a male partner if the men are under work pressure.
“Computers and IT systems are bringing surveillance to most workplaces. Now for the first time we can see how this development is damaging employees’ well-being,” said Michael White, who co-directed the research study.
A group of reproductive medical specialists from Indiana have come up with new research which suggests that infertility caused by stress factors can be reversed through various forms of talk counselling.
According to mental health counsellors, many couples unable to conceive anticipate the holidays with dread. “For them, the end of the year becomes another marker in their inability to have children,” said Deidra T. Rausch, PhD, LMFT, an Indiana counsellor specialising in infertility. “Plus, the seasonal emphasis on family can become a painful reminder of their ongoing struggles.”
Fertility physicians believe that reducing stress is key for many infertility patients, with potential for both mental and physical benefits. On the physical side, stress signals the pituitary gland that the body is in trouble, said Laura Reuter, MD, medical director at Midwest Fertility Specialists.
By Andy Merrett
Nov 25, 2007
A new survey from Clearblue suggests that over three-quarters of couples surveyed have taken a “conception moon” to help them become pregnant, with four out of ten of those couples successfully conceiving.
New phrases I hadn’t come across before are babymoons – time alone just before a family is started – and conception moons – breaks set up with the explicit purpose of conceiving.
It’s fairly obvious what the main activity on a conception moon is, but planning it should be done carefully so as to coincide with the woman’s most fertile time of the month.
Though many of us expect nothing less than grossly stereotypical, sweeping generalisations from the writers at The Daily Mail tabloid paper, Liz Jones has pushed the boat out by having a real go a mothers, and children, for being environmentally and socially unfriendly.
Based upon a few negative images she has of parenting, every mother is now somehow in the wrong.
Granted, I am sure there are some disturbed or misguided people who see children as some kind of “status symbol”. They’re sick, but they’re not the majority (at least, I hope not).
She has a rather old-fashioned view of working mothers:
No one is allowed to complain when they are left to pick up the slack as every mum in the office hares out of the door at six on the dot, millions of plastic carrier bags in tow, hell-bent on creating a nappy mountain.
Heaven forbid that she ever meet a conscientious mother who successfully juggles the demands of both work and family life, as well as doing her bit for the environment.
New data released by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics suggests that, in 2005, births to unmarried mothers accounted for over one-third of the total births in the United States, at 37%.
However, pregnancy amongst teenagers fell, thanks to reduced sexual activity, or the increased use of contraception.
The report, perhaps controversially, also suggests that children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to have a lower birth weight, higher mortality rate, and are at higher risk of living in poverty.
Having said that, single mothers who have significant economic resources don’t generally have these problems.
By Andy Merrett
Jul 11, 2007
A new poll by the Pew Research Centre suggests that “having children” is the ninth most important thing out of ten markers of what makes a successful marriage.
Above them lie factors such as healthy sexual relationships, faithfulness, sharing of household chores, economic and religious factors, and shared tastes and interests.
Abortion is an emotive and highly charged subject under ‘normal’ circumstances, but the story of Jennifer Raper, from Massachusetts, is a tragedy for all concerned.
Her abortion was not performed correctly, and she gave birth to a daughter in December 2004.
Now she is seeking damages and the cost of raising her 2-year-old daughter.
By Andy Merrett
Feb 24, 2007
Natural family planning methods are often a desired method of preventing, or indeed planning, a pregnancy, but they are often seen as less effective than using a chemical contraceptive pill for the same purpose. However, good news for those (including myself) that believe avoiding pills and using a more natural method is preferable, particularly given the potential short- and long-term effects of taking oral contraception.
New research published in Europe’s leading reproductive medical journal “Human Reproduction” suggests that the symptothermal method (STM) was at least, if not more, effective than the contraceptive pill.