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Scientists Discover Microplastics Abound in Human Testicles

In a finding that suggests microplastics may pose a special danger to men, a new study has shown that human testicles contain these tiny bits of plastic at levels triple that seen in animal testicles and human placentas.

“They look like little shards, tiny broken bits from very, very old plastics,” said lead researcher Mat...

Could Infertility Treatment Raise Postpartum Heart Risks?

Women treated for infertility were twice as likely as those who conceived naturally to be hospitalized with heart disease within a year of delivery, recent research shows.

They are particularly likely to land in the hospital with dangerously high blood press...

Alabama Passes Law Protecting IVF Following Frozen Embryo Ruling

Just three weeks after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos should be considered children, lawmakers in that state passed legislation that shields both patients and providers who use in vitro fertilization (IVF) from civil and criminal liability.

Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed the bill into law shortly after it was passed by the Senate on Wednesday.

Following the...

Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are Children

In a ruling that could drastically limit future infertility care, the Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law.

In the decision, judges ...

Toxic Metals Could Harm a Woman's Ovaries

Exposure to toxic heavy metals could cause middle-aged women to have more health problems as they grow older, a new study finds.

The study links toxic metal exposure to women having fewer eggs in their ovaries as they approach menopause.

This condition -- known as diminished ovarian reserve -- could cause worse health problems during menopause and afterwards, researchers say.


Semen Has a Microbiome Too, and It Might Affect Fertility

Microbiomes: You've probably heard of these communities of largely helpful bacteria that colonize the gut or the skin.

But a man's semen has a microbiome of its own, and new research suggests it could play a role in fertility.

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles examined the microbiomes and sperm he...

Phthalates, Found in Everyday Products, Might Lower Fertility

Exposure to a common chemical group found in many household products may delay or even prevent a woman from becoming pregnant, a new study says.

Phthalates can lower a woman's odds of becoming pregnant by up to 18% in any given month, researchers report in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Phthalates ...

Supplements vs. the Mediterranean Diet for IVF Success: Which Works Best?

Women struggling with fertility and using in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive sometimes turn to supplements for help.

Unfortunately, a new study finds only weak evidence to support that strategy.

In contrast, the same research found that the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet does boost the odds that a woman will become a mother.

Compared to the fat- and sugar-rich Western ...

Illnesses in Childhood May Raise Odds of Childlessness Later

Remaining childless throughout adult life might be tied, in some cases, to illnesses experienced in childhood, new research suggests.

Childlessness isn't just about fertility. As a University of Oxford news release on the study noted, "multiple social, economic and individual preferences have been studied" to understand why ...

Men Who Want to Be Dads Should Take a Break From Alcohol

Much has been made of the effects a pregnant woman's drinking could have on the health of her unborn child.

But alcohol consumption by men also increases the risk of birth defects in newborns -- and a new study shows that guys who want to avoid this will have to cut out the booze as much as three months before they try to conceive.

Semen from men who regularly consume alcohol has be...

Most Men Taking Bodybuilding Supplements Don't Know They Can Harm Fertility

Bodybuilders are largely unaware that the protein supplements they use to bulk up might harm their fertility, a new study shows.

Four out of five male gym enthusiasts (79%) said they use protein supplements as part of their fitness plan, the poll found.

But only 14% had considered how those supplements -- which contain high levels of the female hormone estrogen -- might impact their...

Review Links Pesticides to Lower Sperm Quality in Men

Pesticide exposure appears to be linked to lower sperm concentrations in men around the world, a new large-scale evidence review has concluded.

A review of 25 studies spanning nearly 50 years found consistent links between lower sperm concentrations and two widely used classes of insecticides, organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates, researchers said.

“This review is the most com...

Could Cellphones Be Harming Men's Sperm?

Cellphone use might be blunting a fellow's chances of becoming a father, a major new study reports.

Young men who frequently use mobile phones have lower sperm concentrations and sperm counts than guys who rarely dial on the go, Swiss researchers found using more than a decade's worth of data.

However, the data also showed that the move to improved cell technologies like 4G could ha...

Doctors' Group Expands Definition of 'Infertility'

A new, more inclusive definition of infertility has been crafted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

While the guidance for heterosexual couples with medical reasons for being unable to conceive still exists, the definition has now been expanded to include other gr...

  • Cara Murez and Robin Foster and Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporters
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  • October 25, 2023
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Tear Gas Might Harm a Woman's Reproductive Health

Researchers in Minnesota have uncovered a new link between tear gas exposures and negative effects on reproductive health.

The study was prompted by anecdotal reports of irregular menstrual cycles among protestors who were exposed to tear gas during the nationwide protests that followed the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 25, 2023
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  • Fertility Issues? Ovulation Tests Can Help, Study Finds

    A new review of clinical trials with an eye toward successful conception affirms that timing is key when trying to get pregnant.

    The review found that using urine ovulation tests to time intercourse improved both birth and pregnancy rates in women under 40 who had been trying to get ...

    Infertility Treatment May Put Women at Greater Risk for Stroke

    Scientists have spotted an elevated risk of stroke in women who became pregnant after fertility treatments.

    Although the absolute number of strokes reported in the new study were low, women seeking fertility treatment should be made aware of the increased risk, said senior study author,

    COVID Infection in Women Having Ovary Stimulation Lowered Chances for Pregnancy

    Testing positive for a COVID-19 infection during a particular phase of fertility treatment could reduce the odds for a successful pregnancy, a new study says.

    That phase of treatment is called controlled ovarian stimulation — a technique used to induce ovulation during in vitro fertilization (IVF).

    Researchers led by

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 14, 2023
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  • Undiagnosed Endometriosis Can Harm Fertility

    Women with undiagnosed endometriosis had far fewer babies than their peers in the years preceding their diagnosis, according to new research.

    “Our findings suggest that doctors who see women suffering from painful menstruation and chronic pelvic pain, should keep in mind the possibility of endometriosis and treat them effectively,” said study leader

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 10, 2023
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  • IVF Success: Season Eggs Are Collected Could Make a Difference

    Sunny summer days may improve the odds for successful in vitro fertilization (IVF), a new study suggests.

    For women undergoing IVF, the season in which her eggs are retrieved could affect the success of embryo transplantation and her chance of delivering a live baby, researchers reported July 5 in the journal

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 7, 2023
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  • COVID Could Harm Men's Sperm Months After Infection

    Having even a mild COVID-19 infection could trigger a months-long drop in sperm, a new study finds.

    Researchers found both lower sperm concentrations and fewer sperm that were able to swim when studying men an average of 100 days after COVID-19 infection, which is enough time for new sperm to be produced.

    “There have been previous studies that show semen quality is affected in th...

    1 in 5 Women Who've Had a Child Via IVF Will Later Conceive Naturally

    Shema Tariq, a sexual health doctor based in London, was diagnosed with low ovarian reserve and told that her chances of conceiving without in vitro fertilization (IVF) were nearly nil.

    "It took six rounds of IVF to conceive our son, who was born in 2018," she recalled. "My GP briefly mentioned contraception to me after he was born, but we both laughed and agreed that it wasn't relevant....

    Free Fertility App Shared Info With Third Parties, FTC Says

    Owners of the free fertility app Premom have settled with users after sharing health data without consent to other companies, including Google and marketing firms in China.

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the $200,000 settlement with Premom owner Easy Healthcare.

    "Premom broke its promises and compromised consumers' privacy," said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 18, 2023
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  • Infertility in Men and Women: Its Causes and Treatments

    Infertility can be a heartbreaking experience for couples who are desperate to have children, but doctors can help them figure out why they can't conceive and then treat the problem.

    Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. If the woman is 35 or older, then she is considered infertile after six months of trying without getting pregnan...

    • Nora R. Miller, MD, infertility specialist at Yale Medicine's Greenwich Fertility HealthDay Reporter
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    • May 18, 2023
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    Overweight Boys May Be Grow Up to Be Less Fertile Men

    Men who were overweight as boys may have infertility issues in adulthood, according to new research.

    Researchers studying the issue of male infertility, often a mystery, looked at health data from 268 young people between 2 and 18 years of age. They had been referred to the University of Catania in Sicily for weight control.

    “Although the prevalence of childhood obesity is increas...

    Could Hair Relaxers Affect a Woman's Fertility?

    Hair relaxers may slightly affect fertility, a factor most likely to impact women who are Black or Hispanic, according to a new study.

    Research led by Boston University School of Public Health found that these chemical hair straightene...

    Kids Born Via Egg Donors, Surrogacy Grow Up Just Fine, Study Finds

    The kids, no matter how they are conceived, are all right.

    That is the main takeaway from a new study by British researchers that found no real differences in the psychological well-being of kids who were born via sperm/egg donation or surrogacy and those born naturally by the time they reached the age of 20.

    "Children born through third-party reproductive donation -- egg donat...

    Big Drop in U.S. Pregnancies Seen Since 2010

    Pregnancy rates in the United States suffered a steep decline during the last decade, new government data shows.

    The overall U.S. pregnancy rate fell by 12% between 2010 and 2019, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

    The pregnancy rate among women aged 15 to 44 was 85.6 per 1,000 in 2019, down from 97.3 per 1,000 in 2010, ...

    Pandemic's Effect on U.S. Birth Rates May Have Depended on Politics

    The "baby bust" that hit the United States during the first year of the COVID pandemic did not affect all states equally — with states that were more racially diverse or more "blue" seeing bigger drops in their birth rates.

    That's among the findings of a

    Scientists Create Monkey Embryo From Stem Cells

    Scientists have created an embryo-like structure using monkey embryonic stem cells for the first time, part of an effort to better understand early human development and organ formation.

    The researchers created the structures in a lab in China and then transferred them into the uteruses of female monkeys, according to a report published April 6 in the journal Cell Stem Cell.


    Being Born Through Fertility Treatments Won't Affect Your Own Pregnancies, Study Finds

    New research finds that children born after fertility treatments have no increased risk of complications when they themselves later become pregnant.

    Norwegian researchers found that while the individuals who were conceived through assisted reproductive technology (ART) in 1984 or later have fewer children than their peers so far, their babies do not have significant differences in birth ...

    New Technique 80% Effective in Selecting a Baby's Gender

    It's a controversial notion, but couples undergoing fertility treatments may soon be able to select the sex of their baby — with an 80% chance of success, doctors say.

    Sperm-sorting techniques have been tried and offered before, but the new procedure — which separates sperm cells based on weight — appears much more accurate and safe, according to a new study.

    In the study...

    Fertility Treatments Pose No Danger to People With MS

    Women with multiple sclerosis who want to undergo fertility treatment can do so without worry, according to a new study.

    Participants who had MS were no more likely to have a flare-up of the disease after receiving fertility treatments than they were before their treatments, researchers found.

    The study also found a link between MS medication and lack of an increase in relapses d...

    Men Working Heavy-Labor Jobs May Get Fertility Boost

    Men who have physically demanding jobs and regularly lift heavy objects at work also have higher sperm counts and testosterone levels.

    A new study that is part of broader effort to explore how exposure to en...

    Naked Mole-Rats Are Fertile Forever: Could Research Help Humans?

    The naked mole-rat is unusual among mammals for many reasons, not least because these rodents remain fertile throughout their decades-long life span.

    Researchers think the reasons behind that lifelong fertility could eventually point the way to new therapies for human couples struggling to have a baby.

    “Naked mole-rats are the weirdest mammals,” said lead researcher

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 21, 2023
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  • Kids Conceived Via IVF Have No Higher Risk of Heart Issues

    The heart health of children conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) is similar to that of their naturally conceived peers, researchers have found.

    The large study found no robust difference in blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and glucose mea...

    U.S. Birth Rates Continue to Fall

    Continuing a decades-long trend, the percentage of American women who've ever had a child declined again in the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "A lower percentage of women aged 15 to 44 in 2015--2019 had ever had a biological child (52.1%) compared with women aged 15 to 44 in 2011--2015 (54.9%)," concluded a report issued Jan. 10 by the CDC's Nati...

    Just 4% of Men Who Apply as Sperm Donors Are Accepted

    Sperm donation is apparently a grueling and exacting process through which not many men emerge.

    Fewer than four out of every 100 men who apply to be sperm donors actually wind up providing a sample that's used in fertility treatment, a new study reports.

    The rest either give up or wash out, according to findings reported Jan. 9 in the journal Human Reproduction.

    For t...

    Another Mediterranean Diet Bonus: Healthier Sperm, Better Fertility

    Add better chances of conceiving a baby to the list of health benefits linked to the much-touted Mediterranean diet.

    The Mediterranean diet -- which is rich in fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats like olive oil, whole grains, legumes, nuts and fish -- has been shown to boost brain health, and reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Now, researchers in Australia...

    Concerns Around Sex, Fertility Often Ignored in Breast Cancer Care: Survey

    Shehzin Tietjen was 27 years old when she felt a lump in one of her breasts while in the shower.

    That discovery led to a confirmation of breast cancer, an unexpected jolt at her age. "I was really shocked," said Tietjen, who lives in Atlanta.

    Though breast cancer is more ...

    Do Fasting Diets Affect a Woman's Hormones?

    Intermittent fasting has taken off as a way to lose weight without having to limit types of a food a person eats.

    But there was little research on how eating only during a few hours of the day and then only drinking water might affect female reproductive hormones.

    A new study shows that while hormon...

    Black Babies Born Through Fertility Treatments Face Worse Survival Than White Infants: Study

    It's well known that Black women in the United States have an increased risk of childbirth complications. Now, a large new study finds even larger racial disparities when women conceive through infertility treatments.

    Researchers found that among U.S. women who'd undergone various

    Freezing Eggs Doesn't Make Future Pregnancy a Done Deal

    While an increasing number of women are freezing their eggs with the hope of having a baby later, a new study shows there are no guarantees.

    Being younger when having the egg retrieval procedure and freezing more...

    Use of Frozen Embryos Tied to Higher Odds for Dangerous Complication of Pregnancy

    Frozen embryos appear to be linked with a significantly higher risk of dangerously high blood pressure for the woman in pregnancies achieved through in vitro fertilization, a major new study reports.

    Expectant moms were 74% more likely to develop high blood pressure if her pregnancy resulted from a frozen embryo, as opposed to a fresh embryo or natural conception, according to analysis of...

    Researchers May Have Noninvasive Way to Diagnose Endometriosis

    Women can suffer for years with the debilitating pain and medical complications of endometriosis without a diagnosis.

    Now, researchers believe they may be able to diagnose the condition using just menstrual blood, which has distinct characteristics in patients who have endometriosis...

    Stories of Difficult Conception, Birth Can Boost Appreciation of Life

    Stories about their difficult birth or their parents' fertility challenges can give adult children a more grateful, upbeat attitude towards their lives, British researchers suggest.

    They studied the messages as well as how they were delivered, interviewing people about the stor...

    One Form of Fertility Treatment May Raise Long-Term Cancer Risk in Offspring

    Children born as a result of a common fertility procedure involving frozen embryos may have higher risk of cancer, Swedish researchers report.

    In frozen-thawed embryo transfer, an embryo is created in a laboratory from an egg and sperm, frozen and later thawed before implant...

    Efforts to Preserve Fertility Won't Affect Breast Cancer Outcomes

    Fertility preservation procedures for women with breast cancer won't raise the risk of their cancer returning later, a new Swedish study shows.

    Women who had eggs or embryos frozen before going through chemotherapy did not have any increased risk of cancer recurrence or de...

    Neighborhood May Affect a Couple's Odds of Conceiving

    Where you live may affect your fertility, a new study suggests.

    People who live in economically deprived neighborhoods are about 20% less likely to conceive, compared to people from areas with more resources, researchers said.

    Investments in deprived neighbo...

    What Do Bans on Abortion Mean for People Using IVF?

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows states to ban abortion isn't expected to have an immediate effect on in vitro fertilization, according to an analysis by the nation's leading reproductive health society.

    However, the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade opens up a host of knotty moral and ethical questions regarding the storage and disposal of unused embryos, leaving fertility doctor...