Does pregnancy start at conception - when the sperm fertilizes the egg? Or does it begin one week later when the embryo implants in the uterus? According to a survey carried out by researchers from the University of Chicago and published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, not even doctors appear to agree. Dr. Farr A. Curlin and team set out to determine what Ob/Gyns (obstetrician-gynecologists) thought regarding the beginning of pregnancy. They also wanted to know what measure characteristics were linked to the belief that pregnancy started at implantation instead of conception. The researchers posted a questionnaire to 1, 800 Ob-Gyns in the USA, all of them practicing their profession at that time. Their main focus was when they thought pregnancy started. The questionnaire gave the following response options: At conception (the union of the sperm and the egg, also known as fertilization) When the embryo is implanted in the uterus Not sure The authors wrote that: "Primary predictors were religious affiliation, importance of religion, and having a moral objection to abortion.
New research published online in Developmental Cell indicates that higher expression of certain developmental genes at precise times in the uterus might improve pregnancy rates from in vitro fertilization-embryo transfers (IVF-ET). So far, these rates remain low at around 30%. Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center focused on Msx1 and Msx2, genes that play integral roles in organ formation during fetal development and are essential for ensuring that the uterus is in a receptive phase. Sudhansu K. Dey, PhD, director of the Division of Reproductive Sciences in the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said compromised uterine receptivity is a major cause of pregnancy failure in IVF programs. The risk of premature birth is higher for babies successfully conceived through IVF.
The percentage of teenage girls in the USA getting pregnant to full term has dropped to a record low in 2010, a new report issued by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), titled "Births: Preliminary Data for 2010, " informed this week, as did the birth rate for most females of reproductive age. In 2010 the teenage birth rate rate fell to 34.2 births per 1, 000 girls aged 15 to 19 years; 9% lower than the year before. 2010 had the lowest rate since records becan seven decades ago. The authors say their report is based on data gathered on ALL birth records from America's 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US terriroties. The report also informs that the rate of C-sections (cesarean deliveries) dropped in 2010 for the first time since 1996 to 32.8% of all deliveries.
A Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researcher has achieved a significant breakthrough in male fertility, producing normal sperm from mouse cells. "This study may open new therapeutic strategies for infertile men who cannot generate sperm and/or pre-pubertal cancer patients at risk of infertility due to aggressive chemo- or radiotherapy and cannot cryopreserve sperm as in adult patients, " explains Prof. Mahmoud Huleihel, of BGU's Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The article was just published online in Nature's Asian Journal of Andrology, and according to the authors is "the first original report revealing the generation of morphologically normal spermatozoa from mouse testicular germ cells." It outlines the generation of spermatozoa from mouse testicular germ cells under in vitro culture.
A new study published in European Obstetrics & Gynaecology ( European Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2011; 6(2):92-4) shows that DuoFertility used for six months (a small body-worn monitor coupled with an expert consultancy service) gives the same chance of pregnancy as a cycle of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) for many infertile couples. This study demonstrates that there is a viable non-invasive, drug-free alternative to IVF for thousands of couples, with the potential to save them (and the NHS) millions of pounds each year. The paper, by Chausiaux et al, is the first peer-reviewed publication of clinical pregnancy rates using the new DuoFertility product and service. The lead author, Dr. Oriane Chausiaux, has been researching infertility for over a decade in Paris and Cambridge. Summarising the results, she said "Although we have been observing higher than anticipated pregnancy rates with this programme for some time, and reporting this at academic conferences, this is the first study with sufficient statistical power to meet the stringent criteria of the peer review publication process.