Pregnancy is even more miraculous than it seems

Scientists have developed “a fundamentally new way to think about the maternal-fetal interface” with a clear understanding as to why a fetus was not rejected by a woman’s body not truly grasped by doctors, until now.  The findings of a recent study by NYU School of Medicine could have a significant impact on our understanding of the varying reasons for miscarriage amongst others conditions.

An article published in Slate Magazine highlights the miraculous nature of the human body’s defense mechanisms to not automatically reject a fetus either through natural fertilization or via assisted reproduction technology. Pregnancy is considered “a metaphor for marriage”, as it involves the union of male and female genes with the key factor – compromise, according to Harvey Kliman of the Yale School of Medicine – he continues to say the understanding of this compromise has remained a mystery.  Scientists were puzzled by the role T cells, those which attack and destroy invaders (part of the immune system – therefore should in theory attack the fetus) did not in fact attack the fetus, even when experimentally encouraged to do so in mice.

The results provided scientists with “a satisfying explanation for why the fetus isn’t rejected during pregnancy”, considered a significant discovery and something that could have “clear implications for human pregnancy”.  The findings could lead to advances in our understanding of how to prevent miscarriage, clues to treating cancer (“tumors grow by avoiding immune assault”) and autoimmune illnesses (“autoimmune illnesses are caused by an über-revved up immune system”).

As I continue my research into medical advances, I am always astonished upon reading of a potential cure for some of the most perplexing illnesses and conditions.  The question then is, with medical advances, “how long will it take widespread availability or application of these advances?”. It is almost impossible to say, as the trial and error phase is required ensuring the safe application to humans.

A number of positives can be taken from any advancements but the efficacy of a discovery in a lab can differ greatly from that in the real world.

Miscarriage prevention, a difficult task

Who would think that a compound used in plastic food containers and cans could potentially lead to breast cancer or miscarriages?  Not me, but according to a study carried out by the obstetrics and gynaecology department at Nagoya City University Medical School bisphenol-A (BPA) can, and significantly! So, how to prevent miscarriage?

Abstaining from such products is possible but ultimately the toxins in the air are constant and will affect us either way.  It is astounding to read of BPA’s continued prevalence in many products despite the warnings, this is said to be in part due to a lack of government control and lobbying, as highlighted in the book “Breasts: A natural and unnatural history” by Florence Williams.

While studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of the compound as it is claimed that the study provides “the first concrete evidence that high exposure to BPA may be associated with recurrent miscarriage”.

Greater investigation into the compound is increasing understanding and the risks it poses to women via infertility and cancer.  The study performed by Nagoya City University showed that BPA triggers abnormalities, of the number of women that miscarried a quarter had high levels of the compound in their systems, a similar trait seen when mice were subjected to high levels of BPA.

Challenges remain for would-be mothers, ensuring a successful pregnancy appears more difficult with avoidance of such basic compounds almost impossible.  With options such as DHEA treatment becoming more readily available, when used in conjunction with a reduction in exposure to BPA effects this can hopefully increase fertility chances.  However, the continued use of BPA in everyday products is astonishing considering that 75% of breast cancer cases are considered to be chemical related.

This study was published in 2003, meaning almost ten years on, this harmful compound is still in widespread use, increasing risks of miscarriage in women and cancer in both sexes.

Reality Star Bethenny Frankel Suffered a Miscarriage

The star of Bravo’s “Bethenny Ever After” revealed yesterday on the Today show that she recently miscarried her unborn child.

“We were pregnant with a second baby, and at eight weeks, I miscarried,” Bethenny Frankel told the show. “That was a very emotional experience.”

This would have been the second child for Frankel and her husband Jason, who already have a 21-month old daughter named Bryn.

Frankel fought tears while talking about the experience and acknowledged how difficult a miscarriage can be for a woman. After being asked if she would try again for a second child Frankel responded, “Until you become a woman, you don’t know the things that come with being a woman. I’m 41, and, I don’t know, it’s not really my choice. It’s not really my option, and the window’s closing, and it’s something I’m dealing with.”

Age and Miscarriage

While miscarriages are not uncommon, they become more likely the older a woman gets. Women who are attempting pregnancy at 45 or even starting at 35 are much more susceptible to a pregnancy loss than women of younger ages.

In most cases, the reason for the miscarriage is never investigated, however experts say that most are due to abnormalities of the developing baby.

“The principal reason for this increasing miscarriage rate with advancing age, lies in the fact that at least 60% of all miscarriages are due to genetic (i.e., chromosomal) abnormalities,” reads the website of the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a wold-renowned authority on fertility and miscarriage. “And such chromosomal abnormalities increase with advancing female age.”

While there is no clear answer on how to prevent miscarriage, the CHR says that there are options that are available, especially for women who suffer from repeat pregnancy losses.

For Frankel, with only one miscarriage, it is not unlikely that she couldn’t have a healthy pregnancy again. However, given her age, it is possible that she may continue to have difficulties.

But, for Frankel, she is remaining optimistic.

“Thinking about other women who can’t have their own baby, even have the first baby, I am really lucky. I have the most beautiful daughter in the world,” Frankel said.

Fertility Nutraceuticals, LLC Launches FERTINATAL Micronized DHEA Supplement for Enhanced Female Fertility

FertinatalDecember 22, 2011 (New York, NY) – Fertility Nutraceuticals, LLC – a company specializing in nutritional supplements for women and female fertility enhancement – is announcing the launch of FERTINATALTM micronized dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplement.  The high-quality DHEA supplement is designed to augment female fertility.

Intrigued by anecdotal evidence received from one of their patients, physicians at New York’s Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) – a leading fertility and research center – initiated research on the relationship between DHEA supplementation and enhanced female fertility.  Although research on the effects of DHEA is still limited, the published results of CHR’s studies are encouraging.

FERTINATALTM was developed to offer the public exactly the same kind of DHEA utilized by CHR in the center’s research studies.  The product features the highest quality control standards, including a triple-step testing process with batch-testing by independent laboratories.  Furthermore, FERTINATALTM is micronized to the same particle sizes as used in those studies. The product’s three-step testing process ensures that FERTINATALTM delivers on its three promises: a plant-derived DHEA product of highest quality, micronized to appropriate sizes for good absorption.

FERTINATAL™ is the first DHEA supplement exclusively designed for women and female fertility enhancement.  To improve convenience, it is uniquely packaged in individual blister sheets, each containing seven (7) rows of three (3) daily tablets, representing one week of the suggested supply of DHEA supplementation.  Each box of FERTINATALTM contains four of these blister sheets (a four-week supply).  FERTINATAL™ is not intended for individuals under the age of 18, and potential side effects are described on the product’s packaging.

FERTINATALTM will become available exclusively through Fertility Nutraceuticals, LLC in January 2012.

 

About Fertility Nutraceuticals, LLC
Fertility Nutraceuticals, LLC is a newly established company exclusively dedicated to nutritional supplements for women and enhanced female fertility.  FERTINATAL™ DHEA supplement is the company’s first product, with as many as 2-3 additional products expected to arrive throughout 2012.  For more information, visit http://www.fertinatal.com.

DHEA Treatment: Is This the Answer to Premature Menopause?

The average age of menopause in the US is 51. Premature menopause refers to menopause that kicks in before the age of 40 which not only means dealing with the hot flushes, mood swings and irregular periods, but also the fact that any plans for pregnancy will now be a much greater challenge. However, the recently developed DHEA treatment could be the answer to premature menopause.

So what is DHEA?

DHEA is the most common steroid hormone, mainly produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA is metabolized into sex hormones, including estrogen, so as its production begins to decline after the age of 35, sexual function declines with it. Therefore, DHEA replacement therapy is adopted to increase the production of hormones in the body.

Why is DHEA so effective?

Because DHEA is metabolized into various hormones, it can identify which hormone is most lacking and focus on producing more. Therefore, in women suffering from premature menopause, the production of estrogen would increase. Not only is it effective in that it produces estrogen, but DHEA itself is also needed as it is associated with libido, energy levels, bone density and strength.

How can it help?

A recent study carried out by the Center for Human Reproduction in New York found that after 2-6 months of DHEA treatment in 6 cases of women with premature menopause, all women concieved. Other studies have observed improved mood, sense of well-being, and sexual activity among women. It has shown to improve IVF success rates, improve egg quality and decrease miscarriage rates.

Are there any negative side effects?

DHEA can also increase the levels of testerone, the predominantly male hormone, that can lead to increased hair growth.

Are there any positive side effects?

Not only is DHEA treatment an answer to premature menopause, it also helps in the prevention of heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, inflammation, immune disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, HIV, and osteoporosis.