Childless women over 35 feel ‘stigmatised’

The bulk of childless females aged 35 to 45 have felt stigmatised for
waiting around right up until afterwards existence to commence a family, a survey has identified.

Pals and relatives were cited as the best source of force on females
to have young children, with 60% of females in this age bracket feeling judged for
not getting moms.

Some forty% explained they had been way too humiliated to discuss about fertility, in the meantime,
and the majority did not really feel cozy discussing the issue with loved ones
members and pals.

The results by Infertility Network Uk prompted a warning that women fears
of becoming judged have been protecting against them from searching for therapy.

Tim Youngster, health-related director at the Oxford Fertility Device at the University of
Oxford, stated: Many couples are leaving it as well prolonged prior to talking about their
fertility choices with a healthcare specialist.

With new and ever more effective possibilities for therapy turning into offered,
it is extremely crucial that girls and their companions follow direction on
seeking prompt tips from their GP or a fertility professional if they are
worried about their fertility.

Patients need to also be conscious of the decision they make when they hold off attempting
to conceive and the affect this can have on the possibilities of natural
conception, as properly as the therapy they are entitled to beneath the NHS.&rdquo

In accordance to the Infertility Network, girls nonetheless consider up to two several years a
standard waiting around time period ahead of seeing a GP about infertility, whilst a increased
proportion of more mature girls would wait around even for a longer time.

The investigation also located that of these females who experienced previously been through
fertility therapy, nearly fifty percent (forty six%) had waited 4 months or lengthier
ahead of a clinical evaluation and nearly a third (29%) waited over a year
before receiving any remedy.

Clare Lewis-Jones, chief government of the charity, said: We require to advertise a
much more open up discussion about fertility&hellip

Feelings of humiliation and becoming judged are eventually protecting against some

Searching for the help they require for their fertility problems With funding from the pharmaceutical business Merck Serono, the charity
surveyed 500 girls nevertheless seeking young children, like those going through
fertility treatment and individuals nonetheless hoping to discover the correct spouse with
whom to have a household.

Around a single in 7 heterosexual partners in the United Kingdom is explained to be affected by

The greatest lessen in fertility commences when a female is in her mid-30s,
physicians say.

But a survey previous thirty day period identified that practically a fifth (19%) of females aged forty to forty five
are nevertheless steering clear of searching for fertility advice.

Previously this year, the Countrywide Institute for Wellness and Scientific Excellence up to date
its recommendations on fertility therapy so that childless partners now only
have to try out to conceive for two several years alternatively of 3 prior to acquiring IVF
on the NHS.


Exercise During Pregnancy Could Improve Offspring health


One of the key maxims of pregnancy is that a woman is now “eating for two.” According to a new study, the sentiment should be expanded to include exercising for two, as scientists have found that a woman who exercises during pregnancy may benefit her offspring’s vascular health through adulthood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults between 18 and 64 receive 150 minutes of cumulative moderate-intensity exercise each week. With that knowledge, researchers from California State University San Marcos and Universitätsmedizin Greifswald in Germany performed the first-ever analysis of maternal exercise and offspring health. Their results may help newly pregnant mothers make more informed decisions during gestation.

Published in the journal Experimental Physiology, the study involved pigs instead of traditional rodents. Swine respond better to exercise regimens than rats or mice, and provide a better comparison to humans when it comes to physical activity responses, without the ethical burdens of long-term studies that use humans themselves. Researchers had the animals run on a treadmill for 20-45 minutes five times a week, “which is consistent with American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommendations,” according to researchers Dr. Sean Newcomber and Dr. Martin Bahls.

“We assessed vascular function in offspring femoral arteries using in vitro techniques,” they added in a statement, ultimately finding the greatest impact on the vascular smooth muscle — a type of smooth muscle running along the inside of the blood vessel wall.

The study is the first of its kind to examine offspring outcome into adulthood; prior studies have ceased observation in adolescence. The present study has also overturned a once-believed notion that fetal programming could intervene with the single-cell layer lining the blood vessels, called the endothelium, and disrupt physical activity’s impact on the vascular smooth muscle.

Admittedly, exercise during pregnancy is still something of a hot-button issue for doctors, as a general consensus has yet to be reached whether the increased physical stress does more harm than good for a developing fetus. The expert Advisory Board for the Baby Center lists weight training as a “great pregnancy exercise,” encouraging women to lift weights with moderate intensity in the first trimester, then scale back the workouts as the pregnancy progresses.

“We are only starting to understand how exercise during gestation influences offspring adult health and disease,” the researchers explained. “Results like ours may help to create guidelines enabling women to make the best decisions for them and their children by providing evidence based health choices.”

Further research, the team argued, was needed primarily as a screening tool for cardiovascular diseases among newborns as they age through life. The transference of vascular health from mother to offspring suggests a link that could in fact work in the opposite direction — particularly in reference to the well-known dangers of inhaling tobacco smoke during pregnancy.

“Physical activity may act through multiple pathways which depend on type, duration, intensity and frequency of the exercise regimen,” the team said. “Furthermore, it is essential that future research investigates the coronary circulation and also establishes what impact these reported changes in vascular function in the offspring have on cardiovascular disease susceptibility.”


Black Women Have 41% Higher Risk of Breast Cancer

Black women are dying of breast cancer at a much more aggressive rate than white women—and a new study finds that disparities in healthcare are to blame.

A study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that while white women have a higher incidence of breast cancer, Black women have a 41 percent higher mortality rate—perhaps because more Black women are diagnosed with regional- or distant-stage cancer (45 percent versus 35 percent). Out of every 100 breast-cancer diagnoses, Black women have nine more deaths (27 versus 18).

 The report, Vital Signs: Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Severity, finds that the issue goes beyond genetics: Equity in healthcare access and the quality of that care are major contributors to breast-cancer prognoses.

 “Breast-cancer death rates have been declining among U.S. women since 1990 because of early detection and advances in treatment; however, all racial groups have not benefited equally,” reads the report. “Black women experience inequities in breast-cancer screening, follow-up, and treatment after diagnosis, leading to greater mortality.”

Findings include:

Only 62 percent of Black women start treatment within 30 days, compared with 82 percent of white women.

Black women’s diagnosis-to-mammogram intervals are longer than white women, even when both individuals have the same insurance—20 percent of Black women had an interval of 60 days or more compared with 12 percent of white women.

One study showed that equitable treatment could eliminate up to 19 percent of the mortality difference between Black and white women.

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Weight gain during pregnancy linked to child obesity

Piling on the pounds during pregnancy can lead to overweight children and might be contributing to rising obesity rates, research suggests.

 A mother’s weight gain directly affects the obesity risk of her children, a study involving more than 40,000 women and their 91,000 offspring has confirmed.

For each kilogram of weight gained during pregnancy, a child’s body mass index (BMI) at age 12 increased by 0.02 kg/m2, the study found.

Children of mothers who put on the most weight had a BMI that was 0.43 higher, on average, than those whose mothers gained the least weight.

This could account for “several hundred thousand annual cases of pediatric overweight or obesity worldwide”, said the researchers.

It is believed that previous research highlighting the trend could have been swayed by shared influences affecting mother and child, such as socio-economic background and genes.

Therefore the US scientists looked at mothers with two or more children, matching birth records to school reports that included every child’s body mass index (BMI) at the age of 12.

Comparing siblings with the same home environment and distribution of obesity genes helped to isolate the effects of pregnancy weight gain, they said.

Lead researcher Dr David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Centre at Boston Children’s Hospital, said: “From the public health perspective, excessive weight gain during pregnancy may have a potentially significant influence on propagation of the obesity epidemic.

“Pregnancy presents an attractive target for obesity prevention programs because women tend to be particularly motivated to change behavior during this time.”

Writing in the online journal Public Library of Science Medicine, the authors conclude that high pregnancy weight gain increases a child’s risk of obesity by 8 per cent.

BMI measurements are obtained by dividing weight in kilogram by height in meters squared. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, 25 to 29.9 overweight and 30 and above obese.

They authors noted: “The 0.43 kg/m2 increase in BMI could represent a significant component of the estimated 2 kg/m2 increase in mean childhood BMI in the US since the 1970s


Treatment of hypothyroidism not linked to weight loss

Decreased thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, is commonly associated with weight gain, but a new study has found that effective treatment with levothyroxine (LT4) to restore normal thyroid hormone levels is not associated with clinically significant weight loss in most people.

Researchers SY Lee, LE Braverman, and EN Pearce describe the retrospective review of patients with newly diagnosed primary hypothyroidism over an 8-year period, not caused by thyroid cancer or other forms of disease or associated with pregnancy or use of prescription weight loss medication.

It was found that about 52 percent of the patients lost weight up to 24 months after initiation of treatment with LT4.

Ronald J. Koenig , M.D., Ph.D, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, said because obesity and hypothyroidism are very common, there are many patients who have both conditions.

Koenig said that these patients and sometimes their physicians often assume the hypothyroidism is causing the obesity even though this may not be the case.

This study is important because it shows, unfortunately, that only about half of hypothyroid patients lose weight after the successful treatment of their hypothyroidism.

The study will be presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Low back pain among women tied to flat feet

Women who walk with flat feet are 50 percent more likely than those with normal or high arches to have low back pain, a new study suggests.

“The key take away from the study is that if women have low back pain, it may not be just the back,” said senior author Marian Hannan of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston.

“It turns out that feet are important for the back.”

Past research has hinted that low back pain, which affects roughly one in five people worldwide, could be related to the shape of the foot’s arch in the standing position.

This study, published in Rheumatology, focused on the arch while a person walked.

Among 1,930 men and women recruited from Framingham, Massachusetts, pronated feet – which tend to roll inward as a person walks – were linked to lower back pain in women only.

“There has been only weak correlation between pronated feet and low back pain so I was happy to see some evidence of this in the study,” said Christopher Kevin Wong.

He is an associate professor of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia University in New York City and was not involved with the current study.

For their study, Hannan and her colleagues measured each person’s arch in the standing position. Then participants walked across a mat with embedded sensors to measure pressure from the heel to the tip of the foot while walking.

“It’s a method that shows promise, and will need to be validated against other measures of motion analysis,” Wong told Reuters Health.

For example, another method includes marking a person’s leg with ink at the joints in order to detect under- or over-pronation movements.

Women in the study were in their 60s, on average. About 38 percent overall reported having low back pain.

Dr. Stephen Pinney, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, called the size of the study “impressive.”

He told Reuters Health future studies should follow participants with different arches forward in time to confirm these findings. Research should also determine what effect, if any, interventions such as orthotics might have on who develops back pain.

“We’ve known that putting a patient in a foot cast after surgery, for example, can lead to lower back pain because this creates asymmetric forces on the back,” said Pinney, who didn’t participate in the new research.

Hannan said the body may use other muscles to help make up for flat feet when a person walks, which could explain the link to back pain.

Standing and walking use the foot in different ways. Both a flat foot in standing position and a pronated foot walking could be something to consider during a doctor’s visit, Hannan said.

She and her team suggested reasons why women could be more affected by flat feet while walking than men.

For example, women’s pelvic bones are wider and not as flexible as men’s. In general, women rotate their hips more than men while walking. Women also move their upper bodies more than men when they walk.

“Women probably don’t know if their foot function contributes to low back pain, but they can find out about it,” Hannan told Reuters Health.

She suggested people with low back pain visit a doctor or physical therapist.

One simple trick to strengthen muscles in the feet is to lay a towel on a flat surface and then scrunch the toes together in order to pick up the towel and lower it back down. Foot orthotics are another option.

“Once you have back pain, you’ll want to do core muscle exercises and perhaps take anti-inflammatory medication, but anything that is contributing to asymmetry – you will also want to address that,” Pinney said.

“There are a bunch of different reasons for getting low back pain, and this adds another category for people to consider,” he said.


India seeks to regulate its booming ‘rent-a-womb’ industry

Dressed in a green surgical gown and cap, British restaurateur Rekha Patel cradled her newborn daughter at the Akanksha clinic in northwestern India as her husband Daniel smiled warmly, peering in through a glass door.

“I can’t believe we have our own child at last,” said Patel, 42, gazing in wonderment at five-day-old Gabrielle.

“We are really grateful to our surrogate mother who managed to get pregnant and kept our little daughter healthy. She gave nine months of her life to give us a child.”

It is the perfect promotion for India’s booming surrogacy industry that sees thousands of infertile couples, many from overseas, hiring the wombs of local women to carry their embryos through to birth.

But a debate over whether the unregulated industry exploits poor women prompted authorities to draft a law that could make it tougher for foreigners seeking babies made in India.

“There is a need to regulate the sector,” said Dr. Sudhir Ajja of Surrogacy India, a Mumbai-based fertility bank that has produced 295 surrogate babies – 90 percent for overseas clients and 40 percent for same-sex couples – since it opened in 2007.

“But if the new law tightens rules as suggested by the ministry of home affairs, which disallows surrogacy for same-sex couples and single parents, then it will clearly impact the industry and put off clients coming from overseas.”

India opened up to commercial surrogacy in 2002. It is among just a handful of countries – including Georgia, Russia, Thailand and Ukraine – and a few U.S. states where women can be paid to carry another’s genetic child through a process of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and embryo transfer.

The low-cost technology, skilled doctors, scant bureaucracy and a plentiful supply of surrogates have made India a preferred destination for fertility tourism, attracting nationals from Britain, the United States, Australia and Japan, to name a few.


Infertile woman, 30, gives birth after experimental ovary surgery

The treatment, designed to stimulate dormant ovarian follicles, is being tried on a small group of Japanese women with primary ovarian insufficiency, an uncommon form of infertility. Scientists hope it may eventually help women who have trouble getting pregnant due to age.

A 30-year-old infertile woman gave birth after surgeons removed her ovaries and re-implanted tissue they treated in a lab, researchers report.

The experimental technique was only tried in a small group of Japanese women with a specific kind of infertility problem, but scientists hope it can also help women in their early 40s who have trouble getting pregnant because of their age.

The new mother gave birth to a son in Tokyo last December, and she and the child continue to be healthy, said Dr. Kazuhiro Kawamura of the St. Marianna University School of Medicine in Kawasaki, Japan. He and others describe the technique in a report published online Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The mother, who was not identified, had been diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency, an uncommon form of infertility sometimes called premature menopause. It appears in about 1 percent of women of childbearing age. The cause of most cases is unknown, but the outcome is that the ovary has trouble producing eggs.


Kids born to young moms are at risk of child mortality:

Kids born to young moms are at risk of child mortality:Children born to mothers under 30 are more likely to die than those born to older mums, a report on child deaths in the UK suggests.

While overall child mortality fell by 50% in the past 20 years, young maternal age was found to be a risk factor for death in early childhood.

Support should be extended to mothers of all ages, not just first-time teenage mums, the report said.

The research was led by the Institute of Child Health at UCL.

It looked at why children die in the UK using death registration data from January 1980 to December 2010.

It focused on child injuries, birth weight and maternal age to assess the risk factors for child deaths.

The research found that in England, Scotland and Wales, the difference in mortality between children of mothers under 30 and those born to mothers aged 30 to 34 accounted for 11% of all deaths up to nine years old.

This is equivalent to an average of 397 deaths in the UK each year, the report said

Deaths in children born to mothers under 20 accounted for just 3.8% of all child deaths up to nine years old.

The study compared children with similar birth weight in each age category.

‘Alcohol use, smoking and deprivation’

It reported that the biggest difference in deaths was in infants aged from one month to one year.

Among this age group, 22% of deaths in the UK were due to “unexplained causes”, the report said, “Which are strongly associated with maternal alcohol use, smoking and deprivation”.

The report added that the current policy, which focuses support on teenage first-time mothers, was not wide-ranging enough because mothers aged fewer than 30 accounts for 52% of all births in the UK.

Ruth Gilbert, lead researcher and professor of clinical epidemiology at UCL Institute of Child Health, said the findings were important.

“Young maternal age at birth is becoming a marker of social disadvantage as women who have been through higher education and those with career prospects are more likely to postpone pregnancy until their 30s.

“Universal policies are needed to address the disparities.”

Jill Rutter, head of policy and research at the Family and Childcare Trust, said the government needed to do more.

“Disadvantage and maternal age are factors often associated with child deaths. The government has recognized the vulnerability of the children of teenage mothers and given these families extra help with parenting.

“In England the Family Nurse Partnership is an intensive, structured, home-visiting program, which is offered to first-time parents under the age of 20.

“A specially trained nurse visits regularly from early pregnancy until the child is two years old. This project has excellent results, but is not available to older mothers.

“We would like the Family Nurse Partnership to be extended to take older mothers who need help.”

Toll from injuries

The study, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, had other key findings.

First, injuries continue to be the biggest cause of death in childhood, but they are declining,

Between 1980 and 2010, injuries accounted for 31% of deaths in one to four-year-olds and 48% of deaths in those aged 15 to 18.

England had consistently lower rates of deaths from injury than the other UK countries, particularly among older boys.

But there was no decline in deaths due to intentional injury or self-harm over 30 years, the report found.

Dr Hilary Cass, president of the royal college, said this was worrying.

“Injuries remain the biggest cause of child deaths but are declining, so we need to continue to build upon public policy interventions such as traffic calming.

“The lack of decline in intentional injuries calls for a concerted focus on reducing violence and self-harm in older children.”

Disabilities and serious diseases

The study also found that up to 70% of children who die in the UK have chronic conditions such as cancer, cystic fibrosis or epilepsy.

This was not necessarily the cause of their death but likely to be an underlying factor in it.

Prof Gilbert said that although the overall number of children dying is falling, the picture was complicated by the increasing number of children now surviving with disabilities and serious diseases, and this meant that proactive care was vital.

“For some children with serious chronic conditions who are expected to die, this means high-quality end-of-life care for the child and to support their families.

“For others, their death may have been premature or completely preventable. Most children with chronic conditions are managed at home by parents with support from primary and community care services as well as hospitals. We need to focus on the quality of long-term care at home for these children as well as in hospital.”


Breastfeeding Concerns Prevalent Among New Mothers

Almost all new mothers experience breastfeeding concerns in the early postpartum period, and these are associated with stopping breastfeeding, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in Pediatrics.

Erin A. Wagner, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues characterized breastfeeding support, intentions, and concerns in a cohort of 532 expectant primiparas who were followed-up through 60 days postpartum.

The researchers found that there were 4,179 breastfeeding concerns reported in 2,946 interviews, which could be grouped into 49 subcategories and nine main categories. At day three, 92% of participants reported at least one concern, with the most common concerns being difficulty with infant feeding at breast (52%), breastfeeding pain (44%), and quantity of milk (40%). Concerns correlated significantly with increased risk of stopping breastfeeding and with use of formula, with the peak adjusted relative risk at day three. The largest population attributable risks (PARs) for stopping feeding were infant feeding difficulty on day seven (adjusted PAR, 32%) and milk quantity at day 14 (adjusted PAR, 23%).

“Breastfeeding concerns are highly prevalent and associated with stopping breastfeeding,” the authors write. “Priority should be given to developing strategies for lowering the overall occurrence of breastfeeding concerns and resolving, in particular, infant feeding and milk quantity concerns occurring within the first 14 days postpartum.”