Keyword: fertility

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Histones & protamines

Infertility's roots may lie in our DNA

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7% of human males, and among those afflicted, 10-15% are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the condition has been difficult, due to the extensive number involved in generating and developing sperm cells. In a new paper appearing in Science Signaling, a Japanese team reports unravelling…

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Hormone administration

Contraceptive jewelry could be the future of family planning

Family planning for women might one day be as simple as putting on an earring. A report published recently in the Journal of Controlled Release describes a technique for administering contraceptive hormones through special backings on jewelry such as earrings, wristwatches, rings or necklaces. The contraceptive hormones are contained in patches applied to portions of the jewelry in contact with…

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Oral contraceptives

Can birth control pills keep you from recognising emotions?

The pill could be blurring your social judgement ‒ but perhaps not enough so you'd notice. By challenging women to identify complex emotional expressions like pride or contempt, rather than basic ones like happiness or fear, scientists have revealed subtle changes in emotion recognition associated with oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use. Published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, their study found…

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The blunt truth

A few joints may not harm men’s sperm

Researchers investigating the effect of cannabis smoking on men’s testicular function have made the unexpected discovery that it is linked to higher sperm counts and higher testosterone levels among moderate users compared to men who never smoked it. The study is published in Human Reproduction, one of the world’s leading reproductive medicine journals. Previous studies had suggested that…

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Contraception

Male birth control: as easy as a layered cocktail?

For decades, women have shouldered most of the burden of contraception. However, long-term use of female birth control pills could increase the risk for side effects such as blood clots or breast cancer. Now, inspired by colorful layered cocktails, researchers have developed a medium-term, reversible male contraceptive. They report their results in the journal ACS Nano. Common forms of male…

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Birth outcome study

Obesity and pregnancy: A risky couple

New research from the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute supports the need for dietary and lifestyle interventions before overweight and obese women become pregnant. The researchers have reported the results of a large study of birth outcomes in more than 500 overweight or obese women from three public maternity units in Adelaide, Australia in The Lancet Diabetes &…

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Fertilisation

IVF: Why a single embryo sometimes leads to twins or triplets

It has been known for some time that it is better to transfer a single embryo to a woman’s womb during assisted reproduction treatment (ART) rather than several embryos in order to avoid a multiple pregnancy and the risks associated with it such as foetal deaths, miscarriage, premature delivery and low birthweight. However, even when single embryo transfer (SET) is performed, some women still…

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Boxers or briefs?

Why getting rid of tighty-whities is good for your fertility

Researchers have discovered a good reason to not wear tight-fitting underwear – beyond the obvious aspect of fashion: According to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, men who frequently wear boxers have significantly higher sperm concentrations and total sperm counts when compared with their briefs-wearing counterparts. The findings of this study, conducted in the…

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Harmful chemicals

Phthalates: increased exposure through dining out

Dining out more at restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost total levels of potentially health-harming chemicals called phthalates in the body, according to a new study. Phthalates, a group of chemicals used in food packaging and processing materials, are known to disrupt hormones in humans and are linked to a long list of health problems. The study is the first to compare…

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Research

Solving the mystery of defective embryos

It’s the dream of many infertile couples: to have a baby. Tens of thousands of children are born by in vitro fertilization, or IVF, a technique commonly used when nature doesn’t take its course. However, embryos obtained when a sperm fertilizes an egg in a test tube often have defects. In a study, researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) discovered an…

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Demographics

Is Europe dying?

More people in Europe are dying than are being born, according to a new report co-authored by a Texas A&M University demographer. In contrast, births exceed deaths, by significant margins, in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S., with few exceptions.

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Epigenetic marks

Sperm carries information about dad's weight

Turns out dads are also eating for two. A study published in Cell Metabolism reveals that a man's weight affects the heritable information contained in sperm. The sperm cells of lean and obese men possess different epigenetic marks, notable at gene regions associated with the control of appetite. The comparisons, which included 13 lean men and 10 obese men, offer one biological explanation for…

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Varicose veins

Promising way of treating male infertility

Varicose veins in testicles are common and harmless in most of the cases. But they can be the reason for unwanted childlessness. Venous embolization, a minimally invasive treatment, offers the opportunity to improve male fertility, as a study from the University of Bonn, Germany, shows.