New research shows that more than half of women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have fewer children than desired. While patient choice has some influence on the smaller family size, findings published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), suggest that higher rates of infertility and miscarriage may also impact the number of offspring born to women with these chronic conditions. According to the ACR up to 322, 000 U.S. adults have systemic lupus - a disease in which the body's immune system becomes overactive and attacks healthy cells, tissues, or organs. Roughly 1.3 million adult Americans suffer from RA, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes painful joint inflammation. Medical evidence reports that both RA and SLE are more common in women, and onset often occurs during reproductive years which can lead to challenges in family-building.
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have, for the first time, described the genetic basis of endometriosis, a condition affecting millions of women that is marked by chronic pelvic pain and infertility. The researchers' discovery of a new gene mutation provides hope for new screening methods. Published in the early online issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine, the study explored an inherited mutation located in part of the KRAS gene, which leads to abnormal endometrial growth and endometrial risk. In endometriosis, uterine tissue grows in other parts of the body, such as the abdominal cavity, ovaries, vagina, and cervix. The condition is often hereditary and is found in 5%-15% of women of reproductive age, affecting over 70 million women worldwide. Although the disorder has been studied for many years, its exact cause and how it develops remained unclear.
Although women over age 50 who become pregnant via egg donation are at an elevated risk for developing obstetrical complications, their complication rates are similar to those of younger recipients, according to a study by Columbia University Medical Center researchers to be published in the February 2012 issue of the American Journal of Perinatology. This is contrary to epidemiological data suggesting that these women are at greater risk of certain complications of pregnancy, including hypertension, gestational diabetes, premature birth, and placenta abnormalities. In the largest single-center study of older women who became pregnant from egg donation, Mark V. Sauer, MD; Daniel H. Kort, MD; and colleagues studied 101 women age 50 and over. They compared their pregnancy results with those of egg-donation recipients age 42 and younger.
For the first time in Germany, a woman has given birth to a child after removal and preservation of tissue from one of her ovaries. This course of action was necessary to avoid infertility owing to chemo- and radiotherapy. Andreas MÃ ller and his colleagues report the case in the current issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109[1-2]: 8-13). The majority of young female patients who need radio- or chemotherapy for treatment of a tumor express concerns about fertility. The retransplantation of frozen (cryopreserved) ovarian tissue is an experimental technique for restoration of fertility that has led to 15 live births worldwide. The woman in question was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2003, at the age of 25. She was treated with chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy, but in 2005 the disease recurred and further treatment was required.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Makes Fertility Treatments Far More Effective, TAU Researchers Discover
Traditional Chinese medicine has long been used to ease pain, treat disease, boost fertility, and prevent miscarriage. Known in the Western medical community by its acronym TCM, these traditional remedies include herbal preparations and acupuncture. Now Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that a combination of TCM therapy and intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a winning solution for hopeful mommies who are having trouble conceiving. In the first study that measures the effectiveness of both herbs and acupuncture in combination with IUI infertility treatment, Dr. Shahar Lev-Ari and Keren Sela of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Tel Aviv Medical Center say that the results, which have been published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine, show a significant increase in fertility when the therapies are administered side-by-side.