Having a Baby After 35: Information and Associated Risks

Source: Having a Baby After 35: Information and Associated Risks – Medical News Today

Pregnancy later in life, after the age of 35, is becoming increasingly common. Women are delaying childbearing for a variety of personal and professional reasons. However, are there health implications in delaying pregnancy?

As women age, it can become more of a challenge to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Fertility begins to decrease during the ages of 32 and 37, with a more rapid decline after 37.1

Women are born with a certain amount of eggs. As they age, the quantity and quality of eggs begin to decline, particularly during the third decade of life.1,2

Additionally, conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids that may have a negative impact on the ability to conceive become more common with increasing age.1

While it becomes harder to conceive with increasing age, there are also a number of risks occurring with pregnancy that can affect the health of both the mother and baby. In this article, we will examine these risks, as well as look at a number of tips for having a healthy baby later in life.

Risks of pregnancy later in life

Becoming pregnant over the age of 35 can increase the risk of pregnancy complications for both mother and baby. As women age, the risk of them developing high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes (including gestational diabetes) either before or during pregnancy increases. These conditions can have a negative effect on pregnancy.1,2

A pregnant woman holding her back.
Women who become pregnant later in life are at an increased risk of hypertension and gestational diabetes.

Continue reading

What should I expect during labor?

Source: Labor: What are the Stages of Labor? – Medical News Today

You may think that knowing when you are in labor is obvious, but for many women, it may not be so simple.

At times, women may experience symptoms of false labor, including Braxton Hicks contractions (also known as practice contractions) which, although similar to real contractions, are not labor.

Determining what is real labor and false can be accomplished by clocking contractions, timing how long each contraction lasts for and how long it takes from the start of one contraction to the next.

If you are having Braxton Hicks contractions, they will be irregular and go away in time. They may resolve with walking, lying down or through other changes in activity, but true contractions and labor will not resolve and will increase in intensity.

This MNT Knowledge Center article will look at the three stages of labor and how you can tell that labor is about to begin. The article will also examine rapid and prolonged labor, when to go to a hospital and what forms of pain relief are available during labor.

Signs of labor

Pregnant woman's belly is being examined by doctors.
The onset of labor can be signified by cervical changes that are present on physical examination.

Continue reading

Spring cleaning: your makeup bag

Source: Spring cleaning: your makeup bag | www.ajc.com

There’s something lurking at the bottom of your makeup bag, and it’s not pretty.

According to Mayo Clinic Health System Dermatology physician assistant Mary Duh, old and expired cosmetics harbor dangerous amounts of bacteria. This not only directly affects the individual wearing the makeup, but it also can affect anyone they come in contact with.

“Makeup can be infected with bacteria after only one use. The bacterium builds up over time and can cause harm to a person’s skin, eyes, lips and overall health,” says Duh. “When makeup gets old, it starts to break down, and this can cause issues from irritation and inflammation to rashes, blisters, eye infections and pink eye.”

Spring cleaning: your makeup bag photo

Old and expired cosmetics can harbor dangerous amounts of bacteria.

Continue reading

You have no idea what it’s like working in the ER as a pregnant physician

Source: You have no idea what it’s like working in the ER as a pregnant physician

When I was pregnant with my first child, I worked full time as a physician in the emergency department. I worked mostly 9-hour shifts, but some 12-hour shifts as well. Days, evenings, nights, holidays and weekends were divided up amongst the entire group of physicians. I worked my share of those shifts as well.

I have worked in the ER while pregnant twice now, and while I am proud to be an emergency physician and love my job, I didn’t love it when I was pregnant. I found the ER a challenging work environment for a pregnant woman.

Unfortunately, I had a lot of nausea and morning sickness for the first trimester of both of my pregnancies. Working in the ER, there are strong smells: vomit, diarrhea, pus, stinky feet and unbathed homeless people, to name a few. There were many a time when I would run to the bathroom to vomit and have to come right back out and see the next patient as if nothing had happened. Continue reading

Sex After Pregnancy: When Can I Resume Intercourse?

Source: Sex After Pregnancy: When Can I Resume Intercourse? – Medical News Today

Most mothers will agree that the last thing on their mind after having a baby is sex. However, this is not often the case with their partner! On the other hand, some women may be ready to resume sexual intercourse shortly after having a baby. But when is the right time to resume sexual intercourse?

In general, it is recommended that sexual intercourse is avoided for the first 4-6 weeks following a vaginal or cesarean (C-section) delivery; however, it is important to speak with your health care provider before resuming sex.

A woman is staring out of a window with a mug.
Multiple factors can influence when a woman is ready to resume sexual intercourse following pregnancy.

Most often, especially in cases of a C-section, perineal tear or episiotomy, it is recommended to wait until after you are seen for your 6-week postpartum visit for the green light from a health care provider to resume sexual activity. Continue reading

Around 60% of women have fibroids

Source: Could You Have Fibroids and Not Know? « Women’s Health

woman's torsoMy first patient this morning, a normally chipper young lady, greeted me with a somber nod. When I asked what was wrong, she took a deep breath, bit her bottom lip, thrust an ultrasound report in my face, and dramatically sighed, “I have a FIBROID.” I reviewed the report. It showed a tiny fibroid that was causing no issues – other than emotional angst.

My next patient, though she had not listed any issues or concerns on her “new patient” forms, had a visibly swollen abdomen. When I examined her, her uterus was swollen with fibroids and felt like a giant lumpy soccer ball. She admitted that her periods were so heavy that she had needed blood transfusions before. When I asked why she didn’t get her fibroids treated, she said with a shrug that she didn’t know they were there.

Fibroids (tumors of the uterus) can vary in size, symptoms and the amount of stress they produce. And they’re extremely common – affecting around 60% of women. It may sound scary that more than half of all women are walking around with tumors lurking in their uteri, but there is no need to fret. Fibroids are non-cancerous, and the great majority do not cause much drama. They can generally be safely ignored unless they are bothering you or interfering with your health. Continue reading

1 in 10 Women Suffer From Postpartum Depression

Source: Mayo Clinic News Network

You’ve waited nine months, and your new baby finally has arrived. But a few weeks later, instead of feeling joy and contentment, you experience anxiety, sadness, episodes of crying and guilt. You may be suffering from postpartum depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 1 out of every 10 women will have some degree of postpartum depression, which is different from and more severe than the “baby blues.”

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, reporter Vivien Williams talks to family medicine specialist Dr. Summer Allen about ways to handle postpartum depression.

Heart Attack Symptoms In Women

Source: Heart Attack Symptoms In Women

Sue Palmer woke up vomiting and did what most of us would do: She tried to shake it off and go back to bed. But, in an essay Palmer wrote for The Washington Post, the Nashville-based attorney details how her husband Tim insisted that she go to the ER…and saved her life in the process.

“He whispered, ‘Let’s go to the emergency room,’” Palmer recalled. “‘Why?’ I asked. He replied, ‘You could be having a heart attack.’”

Palmer recounts how she joked about the situation to ER workers, since she felt fine, and even rolled her eyes at the notion that she might be having a heart attack at one point. While one electrocardiogram (EKG) didn’t show that anything was off, a second found that something was very wrong. Continue reading

10 Common Labor Complications

Source: 10 Common Labor Complications – Medical News Today

Most often, the labor and birth process is uncomplicated. However, there are times in which complications arise that may require immediate attention. Complications can occur during any part of the labor process.

Common complications of labor include:1-3

  1. Failure to progress
  2. Fetal distress
  3. Perinatal asphyxia
  4. Shoulder dystocia
  5. Excessive bleeding
  6. Malposition
  7. Placenta previa
  8. Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD)
  9. Uterine rupture
  10. Rapid labor.

In this Medical News Today Knowledge Center article, we examine each of the above 10 complications of labor, including some information on how they can be caused, treated or prevented.

1. Failure to progress

Labor may be described as prolonged or having failed to progress when it lasts for an abnormally long period of time. For first time mothers, failure to progress is described as labor lasting over 20 hours, whereas in mothers who have previously given birth, it is described as labor lasting more than 14 hours.4

A woman in labor with doctor and partner.
Labor typically lasts for 6-18 hours. In some cases, however, it can last for over 20 hours.

Prolonged labor can occur in any phase of labor; however, it is most concerning during the active phase.4 Continue reading

Omega-3s could lower breast cancer risk in obese women, study suggests

Source: Omega-3s could lower breast cancer risk in obese women, study suggests – Medical News Today

A new study has suggested that obese women could experience a reduction in the risk of breast cancer through the administration of omega-3 fatty acids.
A doctor holding a fish oil capsule and a glass of water.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was found to reduce breast density in postmenopausal obese women.

The study took the form of an open-label, randomized clinical trial of 266 postmenopausal women with high breast density who were either a normal weight, overweight or obese. The findings are published in Cancer Prevention Research. Continue reading

How to do Kegel exercises for women AND men

Source: How To Do Kegel Exercises – Medical News Today

Both men and women can benefit from performing exercises to work and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be greatly improved with regular exercises targeting these muscle groups.2,3

Kegel exercises for females

How to do a proper Kegel is vital to the success of the treatment. These exercises can be done anywhere and at any time and are beneficial in strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor.5

Your health care provider or physical therapist can instruct you on how to perform a proper Kegel while in their office, at which time proper technique can be evaluated. Pelvic floor exercises can also be done during pregnancy and after childbirth.5

At times, a technique called biofeedback may be necessary. During biofeedback treatment, a device will monitor proper muscle contraction, the strength of the pelvic floor and timing of Kegels. Biofeedback reinforces proper technique of the exercises.3-5 Continue reading

Do cranberries help urinary tract infections?

Source: Cranberries help urinary tract infections, but not as juice – Medical News Today

Dashing out for a bottle of cranberry juice when a urinary tract infection hits may not be so helpful after all. Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests it could just be an old wives’ tale.
The active ingredients in cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect any part of the urinary system, kidneys, bladder or urethra.

More than 3 million Americans, mostly women, experience a UTI every year.

Symptoms include frequent, painful urination, pelvic pain and traces blood in the urine. The infection does not normally last long, and most patients self-diagnose. Continue reading

Fibromyalgia sufferers might benefit from tailored acupuncture

Source: Fibromyalgia sufferers might benefit from tailored acupuncture – Medical News Today

Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5 million Americans, 80-90% of whom are women. The disorder is characterized by widespread pain and diffuse tenderness. Although there is no cure, tailored acupuncture might provide some welcome respite, according to a new study.
[Acupuncture close up]
New research shows that tailored acupuncture might relieve fibromyalgia symptoms.

Although difficult to categorize, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition because it impairs soft tissue and joints and causes pain.

Fibromyalgia carries with it a number of other life-disrupting symptoms that vary from individual to individual.

These symptoms can include muscle stiffness, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and sensitivity to temperature, sounds and bright lights.

The exact causes of fibromyalgia are not well understood; however, hypothesized culprits include traumatic or stressful life events and repetitive injuries. Continue reading

Could It Be Herpes?

Source: Could It Be Herpes? « Women’s Health

“I’ve got this yeast infection that just won’t go away. I had itching and burning, so I used an over the counter cream. I think I had an allergic reaction to it though, because now I’m all swollen and irritated down there.” I get some variation of that complaint almost weekly from a patient. Each time I hear it, I get a sense of dread, because I know 9 times out of 10 it’s not a yeast infection we’re dealing with but genital herpes.

In the OB/GYN world, we call herpes the “glitter” of STDs because it seems to spread everywhere. It is extremely common. Currently 20% of the US population tests positive for genital herpes. Continue reading

Uterine Prolapse: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Source: Uterine Prolapse: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment – Medical News Today

Uterine prolapse is a condition that occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are no longer strong enough to support the uterus. As a result, the uterus descends toward or through the vagina.

In the US, the Women’s Health Initiative found some degree of prolapse in 44% of participating women. Among these women, 14% of prolapse cases were uterine prolapse.

This article will examine the causes of uterine prolapse, its symptoms, forms of treatment and methods of prevention for the condition.

The female reproductive system.What is uterine prolapse?

The uterus, also known as the womb, is held above the vagina by the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments.

Uterine prolapse is a condition in which a woman’s uterus (womb) slips into the vagina. In some cases, the uterus can protrude from the vaginal opening.

This condition occurs when the muscles and ligaments within the pelvis become weak or lax and are unable to adequately support the uterus. Continue reading

High fiber intake when young may lower women’s breast cancer risk

Source: High fiber intake when young may lower women’s breast cancer risk – Medical News Today

High intake of fiber-rich foods in adolescence and early adulthood could reduce women’s risk for breast cancer. This is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
[Foods rich in fiber]
Eating more fiber-rich foods when young may lower women’s risk of breast cancer, new research suggests.

According to lead author Maryam Farvid, visiting scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, most previous studies assessing the link between fiber intake and breast cancer risk have been “non-significant.”

She notes that none of these studies have looked at diet during adolescence and young adulthood – a period that appears to be closely associated with breast cancer risk factors. Continue reading

Cervical cancer: the importance of regular screening

Source: Cervical cancer: the importance of regular screening – Medical News Today

The American Cancer Society state that cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death for women in the US. But because more women are undergoing screening for the disease, the number of deaths from the condition have decreased significantly over the past 40 years.
The female reproductive system
Cervical cancer is most common in women between the ages of 21-50.

However, it is estimated that 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the US last year, and 4,100 deaths occurred as a result of the disease, suggesting that there is still more that can be done to combat the cancer. Continue reading

On Paper, Italy Allows Abortions, but Few Doctors Will Perform Them

Source: On Paper, Italy Allows Abortions, but Few Doctors Will Perform Them – The New York Times

ASCOLI PICENO, Italy — After Benedetta, 35, found out 11 weeks into her pregnancy that the baby she wanted “with all myself” had extremely serious genetic problems, she made a painful decision, and asked her longtime gynecologist for an abortion.

Her doctor’s refusal — she said she was a conscientious objector to Italy’s law that makes abortion legal up to 90 days — set off a desperate scramble to find a doctor who would help her. Continue reading

Having more children slows down aging process

Source: Having more children slows down aging process — ScienceDaily

A study by Simon Fraser University researchers suggests that the number of children born to a woman influences the rate at which her body ages.

The study led by health sciences professor Pablo Nepomnaschy and postdoctoral researcher Cindy Barha found that women who give birth to more surviving children exhibited longer telomeres. Telomeres are the protective tips found at the end of each DNA strand and are indicative of cellular aging. Longer telomeres are integral to cell replication and are associated with longevity. Continue reading

Why So Many Couples Struggle With Sex

Source: Why So Many Couples Struggle With Sex | Psychology Today

Your libidos don’t match. Your sex life is non-existent. Your spouse is preoccupied with porn, or with someone other than you. There’s an affair. Whatever the specifics, when you and your partner need different things in the intimacy department, one of the most pleasurable aspects of a relationship—sex—can become one of the most painful.

I’m not a researcher. But based on responses to posts my The New I Do co-author, Vicki Larson, and I have gotten, it seems that the subject of sexlessness in marriage strikes a painful chord for many. In November, I posted, “Why is Sex in Marriage Such a Big Deal?” and in its first week online, it collected nearly 18,000 hits. Vicki’s article from July 2014, “Sexless Marriage or Cheating Spouse—What’s Worse?” (link is external) has drawn hundreds of comments and the conversation is still very much alive today. Continue reading

Unhappiness, stress ‘does not cause ill health, mortality’

Source: Unhappiness, stress ‘does not cause ill health, mortality’ – Medical News Today

While happiness is the one thing we all strive for in life, a new study claims it is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to health. Researchers found unhappiness is not a direct cause of ill health and increased mortality; instead, it is ill health that makes us unhappy.
[A stressed, anxious woman]
Ill health can cause unhappiness, but unhappiness does not cause ill health, a new study claims.

The study – led by Dr. Bette Liu of the University of South Wales in Australia – is published in The Lancet. Continue reading

Cohabitation, Marriage Boost Mental Health

Source: Cohabitation, Marriage Boost Women’s Mental Health

Living together or getting married provides young adults — especially women — with a boost to emotional health, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from 8,700 Americans who were born between 1980 and 1984, and interviewed every other year from 2000 to 2010. Continue reading

Are they the world’s most relaxed moms? What we can all learn from the Dutch.

Source: Are they the world’s most relaxed moms? What we can all learn from the Dutch. in Strong mind, body, and soul curated by Regina Catipon

Why are Dutch kids so happy? (iStock)

Studies have found that Dutch children are the happiest kids in the world, and that their mothers are pretty happy too. After seven years of living among them, I think there’s a pretty good chance they may also be the most relaxed moms in the world.

I moved to the Netherlands with a 3 and 1-year-old and quickly added a third child to the mix. Since then I’ve clocked up many hours at the park and school pick-ups and am easy to spot. I don’t just stand out physically among the impossibly tall, blonde and svelte Dutch moms, but I also seem to be the only one even remotely frazzled. Continue reading

You are more beautiful than you think

In one of the most famous Dove films, Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising.

Source: Real Beauty | TED-Ed

Depression and diabetes linked to sedentary pregnancy

Source: Depression and diabetes linked to sedentary pregnancy – Medical News Today

Women suffering from depression during their second trimester are more likely to spend longer amounts of time sitting down. A new study shows that this sedentary behavior increases the likelihood of increased weight gain and gestational diabetes.
Sitting for long periods of time[Pregnant woman sitting] when pregnant could increase the risk of maternal diabetes.

The ethics of running clinical trials on pregnant women where the control group is considered likely to have a negative health impact are, understandably, not considered ethical.

As such, information regarding the amount of physical effort a pregnant woman should undertake during pregnancy is sparse. Continue reading

Ovarian cancer risk depends on reproductive factors

Source: Ovarian cancer risk depends on reproductive factors – Medical News Today

Giving birth to more children or having the fallopian tubes cut alters the risk of different types of ovarian cancer, according to new research presented this week at the 2015 National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference in the UK.
[reproductive system]
Ovarian cancer includes cancers of diverse origin that appear in the ovaries.

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Evidence now points to different types of ovarian cancer with distinct origins, but they remain grouped together because they first become evident in the ovaries. Continue reading

Just an Ordinary Miscarriage

Source: Just an Ordinary Miscarriage – The New York Times

“It’ll be a breeze,” my husband predicted when I showed him the positive results of the home pregnancy test.

My obstetrician said, “We have to be cautious until the end of the first trimester — until it’s ‘glued in.’ ”

There was a chapter in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” ominously titled “When Things Go Wrong.” I was avoiding reading that section, yet I knew — even though nobody really talked about miscarriage, the way people never used to discuss cancer. Continue reading

Trends in Metastatic Breast and Prostate Cancer — Lessons in Cancer Dynamics

Source: Trends in Metastatic Breast and Prostate Cancer — Lessons in Cancer Dynamics — NEJM

What explains these discordant trends? The stable incidence of metastatic breast cancer suggests two things.

First, the underlying probability of developing this form of breast cancer is itself stable. Second, screening mammography has been unable to identify at an earlier stage, before symptoms appear, cancers that are destined to become metastatic. Continue reading

Why Crying A Lot Means You’re Mentally Tough

Source: Why Crying A Lot Means You’re Mentally Tough – DavidWolfe.com

“I’m the biggest crier.” – Ronda Rousey, Mixed Martial Arts World Champion

Often times we believe that crying is for the weak and that you’re soft if you show emotions.

Well, one scientist actually believes the opposite. William H. Frey II, PhD, is a neuroscientist and tear researcher at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota and he thinks that “crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, it’s a healthy one. Crying is a natural way to reduce emotional stress that, left unchecked, has negative physical affects on the body, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders.” Continue reading

Secret to Staying Slim: Your Fruit Bowl?

Source: Secret to Staying Slim: Your Fruit Bowl?

Women who keep produce on their kitchen counters weigh about 13 pounds less than those who don’t, study finds

The food sitting out on your kitchen counter offers clues about your weight, a new study reveals.

Cornell University researchers photographed kitchen counters in more than 200 American homes and then checked the weight of the women living in those houses.

Women who had breakfast cereal sitting on the counter weighed 20 pounds more than women who didn’t have cereal boxes on display. And women in homes with soft drinks sitting on the counter weighed 24 to 26 pounds more than those living in homes without soft drinks on the counter, the investigators found. Continue reading

8 Ways to Recover From Post Childhood Adversity Syndrome

Source: 8 Ways to Recover From Post Childhood Adversity Syndrome | Psychology Today

Cutting-edge research tells us that experiencing childhood emotional trauma can play a large role in whether we develop physical disease in adulthood. In Part 1 of this series we looked at the growing scientific link between childhood adversity and adult physical disease. This research tells us that what doesn’t kill you doesn’t necessarily make you stronger; far more often, the opposite is true.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (link is external)—which include emotional or physical neglect; verbal humiliation; growing up with an addicted or mentally ill family member; and parental abandonment, divorce, or loss — can harm developing brains, predisposing them to autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer, depression, and a number of other chronic conditions, decades after the trauma took place. Continue reading

All About the Rare Condition That Can ‘Masculinize’ Women

Source: All About the Rare Condition That Can ‘Masculinize’ Women – Health News and Views – Health.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For most women, some hair loss from the scalp along with more body hair are just regular signs of aging. In some cases, though, these changes may stem from a little-known condition that sends testosterone levels soaring.

Writing in the Oct. 22 New England Journal of Medicine, doctors describe just such a case: A 57-year-old woman who came to them with body-hair growth, balding, an increasingly male-sounding voice, and other signs of excessive testosterone levels.

After ruling out some of the usual suspects — including tumors of the adrenal glands and ovaries — her doctors eventually settled on an obscure diagnosis known as ovarian hyperthecosis. Continue reading

Skin-to-skin contact after birth reduces stress levels for mothers

Source: Skin-to-skin contact after birth reduces stress levels for mothers – Medical News Today

The benefits of skin-to-skin contact for babies after birth have been well documented. But what about for mothers? After all, they, too, have been on quite a journey. New research to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition suggests maternal stress levels benefit from skin-to-skin cuddling.
Newborn baby
Skin-to-skin contact after birth not only benefits newborns, but also mothers, new research shows.

Birth can be a tiring time for both mother and baby, but previous studies have outlined the many benefits of mothers (or fathers) sharing skin-to-skin contact with a newborn.

For example, babies who have an hour of post-birth skin contact are less stressed, which means their breathing and heart rate is more stable, they cry less and they digest their food better when they start to feed. Continue reading

No Bone Benefits With High-Dose Vitamin D in Older Women

Source: No Bone Benefits With High-Dose Vitamin D in Older Women | Medpage Today

SEATTLE — High-dose vitamin D supplementation did not improve bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women, a randomized study sponsored by the NIH found.

Among women who received high-dose vitamin D for a year, calcium absorption did increase but the effect was small, and there was no difference compared with those given low-dose vitamin D or placebo in BMD at the spine, total hip, femoral neck, or total body, according to Karen Hansen, MD, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues. Continue reading

Daily aspirin could increase chance of pregnancy

Source: Daily aspirin could increase chance of pregnancy – Medical News Today

Taking low-dose aspirin daily could help women become pregnant, particularly those who have previously miscarried. This is according to new research presented today at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.
[A woman taking an aspirin]

Researchers from the University of Utah and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) suggest that taking just 81 mg of aspirin daily may boost a woman’s likelihood of conception by reducing systemic inflammation, improving the environment in which an embryo grows.

Aspirin is a salicylate drug commonly used to reduce fever, inflammation and relieve minor aches and pains. It is also increasingly used as an anti-platelet medication to reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke among individuals at high risk. Continue reading

IVF breakthrough: novel DNA test could more than double success rates

Source: IVF breakthrough: novel DNA test could more than double success rates – Medical News Today

In the US, the majority of women undergoing in vitro fertilization have a success rate of 20-35%. Now, researchers have created a test that they say could boost success rates to as much as 80%.
[IVF]Researchers say the new test could lead to IVF success rates of 70-80%.

The test, called MitoGrade, works by measuring the levels of abnormal mitochondrial DNA present in embryos, allowing doctors to determine which embryos are most viable for a successful pregnancy.

Mitochondria are structures found within cells that are responsible for generating the energy cells need to function. Each mitochondrion contains small amounts of DNA, known as mitochondrial DNA. Continue reading

Long-Term Study Finds The Hearts Of Women And Men Age Differently

Source: Long-Term Study Finds The Hearts Of Women And Men Age Differently | IFLScience

The health of your heart is impacted by a number of different factors, from smoking to diabetes, meaning that depending on lifestyle choices, people’s hearts age at different rates. A new study has found out, however, that its aging rate also depends on your sex.

By following close to 3,000 patients over a period of 10 years, the researchers were able to track how patients’ hearts changed during this period using MRI scans. This tracking over time was important, because previous studies looking into the differences in aging of hearts had simply compared those of young and old people at a single point in time, which couldn’t therefore account for differences in lifestyles or medical history. Checking up on the same individuals periodically, they found that there were surprising differences between the aging of hearts in both men and women. Continue reading

New Mammogram Guidelines: What to Do Now

Source: New Mammogram Guidelines: What to Do Now « WebMD Interviews

The American Cancer Society on Tuesday updated its guidelines on breast cancer screening, recommending that most women begin annual mammograms at age 45 and switch to every two years starting at age 55.

The new recommendations are a departure from the society’s previous guidelines, which called for annual mammograms beginning at age 40. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still calls for annual mammograms for women 40 and older.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, meanwhile, recommends that women at average risk get annual mammograms between the ages of 50 and 74. The task force is an independent group of national experts. Continue reading

Healthy Diet Before Pregnancy: Good for Baby’s Heart?

Source: Healthy Diet Before Pregnancy: Good for Baby’s Heart? | Medpage Today

Better maternal diet in the year prior to conception was associated with lower risk of serious congenital heart defects, according to the results of a large retrospective case-control analysis using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.

In adjusted analyses, Lorenzo D. Botto, MD, of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues found a reduced risk of all conotruncal defects (aOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.91), as well as a 37% reduced risk in tetralogy of Fallot (aOR 0.63, CI 0.49 to 0.80) associated with the highest quartile of Diet Quality Index for pregnancy (DQI-P). Continue reading

Why do women have periods?

A handful of species on Earth share a seemingly mysterious trait: a menstrual cycle. We’re one of the select few mammals on Earth that menstruate, and we also do it more than any other animal, even though it’s a waste of nutrients, and can be a physical inconvenience. So where’s the sense in this uncommon biological process? TED-Ed describes the history and evolution of menstruation.

Source: Why do women have periods? | TED-Ed

AAP: No Safe Level of Alcohol Consumption in Pregnancy

“There is no known absolutely safe quantity, frequency, type, or timing of alcohol consumption during pregnancy,” according to a new clinical report on fetal alcohol syndrome from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Get the full article on NEJM website here.

Source: AAP: No Safe Level of Alcohol Consumption in Pregnancy — Physician’s First Watch

97% of Women Will Be Cruel to Their Bodies Today

Source: Shocking Body-Image News: 97% of Women Will Be Cruel to Their Bodies Today: Glamour.com

Read these words: “You are a fat, worthless pig.” “You’re too thin. No man is ever going to want you.” “Ugly. Big. Gross.” Horrifying comments on some awful website? The rant of an abusive, controlling boyfriend? No; shockingly, these are the actual words young women are saying to themselves on any typical day. For some, such thoughts are fleeting, but for others, this dialogue plays on a constant, punishing loop, according to a new exclusive Glamour survey of more than 300 women of all sizes. Our research found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day. Continue reading

Why Co-Sleeping May Be Harmful to Moms

Source: Why Co-Sleeping May Be Harmful to Moms

A good night’s sleep is rare for all new parents — but worse for moms who co-sleep.

Based on a new study from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, it seems co-sleeping does have a negative impact on health, but not in the way you might think. The study found that co-sleeping resulted in a poorer quality night’s sleep for moms. That includes moms who slept with baby in the same bed and those who slept in the same room.

Researchers measured the sleep patterns of moms and babies using a wristband that tracked their movements during the night. Moms were asked to record whether they slept in the same room, bed or neither as their babies. Data was collected prior to giving birth, at three months postpartum and again at six months postpartum. Continue reading

Hate Going to the GYN? Why You Can Relax

Source: Hate Going to the GYN? Why You Can Relax « Women’s Health

No woman looks forward to going to the gynecologist. Gynecologists know this, so don’t think we’re offended when you’re grumpy and nervous. And that awkwardness you feel during your exam? It’s normal. (It’d be a little odd if you were comfortable having an examination!) Even though it may be the last thing in the world you want to do, seeing your gynecologist every year is important for your health. So let me try to deconstruct what happens a little bit to make your next visit a little easier.

Your Doctor’s Thoughts
As a gynecologist, my main focus during our time together is your overall health – issues we need to talk about, what screening you are due for, what you are at risk for. During your pelvic exam, I am examining you for infections, abnormal spots or “lesions”, and evidence of injury or problems. Continue reading