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Should a dying man be allowed to let doctors harvest his sperm for possible use by strangers after death? Yes, say two medical ethicists in the United Kingdom.

Writing in an article published Jan. 20 in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Drs. Nathan Hodson and Joshua Parker said that such donations would be akin to the organ donor process.

"If it is morally acceptable th...

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) isn't confined to soldiers on the battlefield; it can happen to anyone after a traumatic event -- including pregnancy loss.

After a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, 1 in 6 women can have PTSD nearly a year later, European researchers report.

"Early pregnancy loss is associated with a significant level of psychological distress, and in...

If you're an expectant parent, you know you're in for some sleepless nights once the baby comes. What you might not expect is almost $5,000 in medical costs.

A new study warns parents-to-be that average out-of-pocket costs for health care during pregnancy, delivery and the first three months after birth jumped to more than $4,500 in 2015 from just over $3,000 in 2008.

That...

Smoking pot regularly during pregnancy won't do your baby any favors, researchers warn.

They studied sonograms from nearly 450 pregnant women who said they used marijuana daily. The researchers concluded that daily use of the drug is associated with delayed fetal growth, which may increase the risk of problems during pregnancy, delivery and afterbirth.

Those problems can inc...

If you are pregnant and live in a rural area of the United States, new research shows that you're at higher risk of life-threatening complications or death during or after childbirth.

"Our study suggests that geographic disparities may put rural women at an increased risk of requiring lifesaving interventions during or immediately after delivering a baby," said study senior author Dr....

Children whose mothers had diabetes before or during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing heart disease by age 40, according to a new study.

The findings "highlight the importance of effective strategies for screening and preventing diabetes in women of childbearing age," said study author Dr. Yongfu Yu and colleagues. Yu is in the clinical epidemiology department at Aarhus ...

Moms trump doctors when it comes to pregnancy advice, a new study suggests.

More often than not, pregnant women rely on guidance from their mothers instead of medical experts, the researchers found.

Many believe their mom's advice is as good or even better than medical recommendations.

"And often for good reason," said study author Danielle Bessett, an associate ...

Though fetuses spend nine months in a dark womb, they may detect light by the second trimester, a new study in mice suggests.

That's when light-sensing cells develop in the retina, and it may set up the day-night rhythms that the infant will follow, the researchers said.

These cells talk with each other and the brain, giving the retina greater light sensitivity than once be...

Poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy puts mothers and their babies at increased risk for serious complications, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed more than 100,000 pregnancies in more than 58,000 women with asthma in Canada.

Compared to those whose asthma was well-controlled, women who had severe asthma symptoms during pregnancy were 17% more likely to have hi...

Rising temperatures might help trigger premature birth, a new study finds, suggesting that global warming could deliver more "preemie" babies.

Looking at 20 years of data on heat waves and birth timing across the United States, researchers "estimate that an average of 25,000 infants per year were born earlier as a result of heat exposure."

Taken another way, the research sug...

Children born to women who take the HIV drug efavirenz during pregnancy have a higher risk of small head size -- a birth defect known as microcephaly -- compared to babies exposed to other HIV drugs in the womb, new research shows.

Prenatal exposure to the drug was also linked to developmental delays in children.

But one U.S. expert said the new data shouldn't alarm most HIV...

"Designer babies" aren't going to be a reality anytime soon, researchers say.

Concerns about genetically altering embryos to have desired traits have been around nearly as long as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the technology to screen embryos have existed.

But while recent live births resulting from embryonic CRISPR gene editing have re-focused attention on the issue, the...

A surprising new study upends the notion that antibodies passed from mother to fetus protect infants from measles for as much as a year.

In fact, infants' immunity wanes much more rapidly than once thought, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics. The finding drives home the importance of community-wide immunizations.

"Measles is a serious disease, p...

Pregnancy-related high blood pressure puts women at higher risk of heart disease later on, new research suggests.

In the study, researchers analyzed an average of seven years of follow-up data on more than 220,000 women in the United Kingdom. Those who had gestational high blood pressure or preeclampsia in at least one pregnancy had stiffer arteries, and two to five times the rate of ...

Kidney damage among U.S. women hospitalized during pregnancy is on the rise, and those women are more likely to die while in the hospital, a new study finds.

Kidney injury during pregnancy increases the likelihood of complications and death in mothers and their babies.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data on more than 42 million hospitalizations during pregnancy tha...

Two-thirds of American women take acetaminophen for the aches and pains of pregnancy, but the medication might not be as benign as thought.

New research shows that women who took acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, at the end of their pregnancies were much more likely to have child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism.

After testing blood from t...

Physical and mental stress during pregnancy may influence the baby's sex, and physical stress may increase the risk of preterm birth, a new study suggests.

Researchers assessed 187 healthy pregnant women between 18 and 45 years of age. About 17% were mentally stressed, with high levels of depression, anxiety and perceived stress. Sixteen percent were physically stressed, with high...

Weight-loss surgery before pregnancy may lower obese women's odds of having a baby with major birth defects, new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers examined data on more than 33,000 births in Sweden between 2007 and 2014.

Of these, nearly 3,000 children were born to mothers who had a type of weight-loss surgery called gastric bypass before getting pregnant. T...

Men who use marijuana at least once a week are twice as likely to see their partner's pregnancy end in miscarriage, compared to those who use no pot, new research suggests.

Miscarriages related to frequent male pot use tended to occur within eight weeks of conception, which bolsters suspicions that marijuana use damages sperm in some essential way, said le...

About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States don't get vaccinated against both flu and whooping cough, putting them and their newborns at risk, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"Influenza and pertussis (or whooping cough) are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially those who are too young to be vaccinated direc...

Children whose moms had high levels of lead in their blood during pregnancy are more likely than others to carry excess weight by age 8, new research reveals.

The conclusion stems from a look at blood tests of more than 1,440 mothers within three days after delivery. Their lead levels were then compared to their offspring's weight fluctuations during childhood.

The study cou...

Women have long been told to cut out drinking if they are pregnant or think they might become pregnant.

But a new study suggests that men hoping to become fathers should also stay away from alcohol for at least six months before trying to conceive.

If would-be moms and dads drink in the three months before pregnancy, and if mom drinks during the first trimester, they run the...

Many pregnant women suffer from morning sickness early in pregnancy. But a new study suggests that a small minority who suffer a more severe form of the illness may be at higher odds of having a child with autism.

The form of morning sickness in question is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and it occurs in less than 5% of pregnancies, explained a team at Kaiser Permanente Southern C...

Women who have complications during their first pregnancy are more likely to develop high blood pressure within seven years, according to new research.

The study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, looked into whether problems during first pregnancies such as early deliveries, smaller-than-average babies, stillbirths and preeclampsia might lead ...

Women who suffer from anemia early in pregnancy are at risk for having a child with autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disabilities, a study by Swedish researchers suggests.

The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but "a diagnosis of anemia earlier in pregnancy might represent a more severe and long-lasting nutrition deficiency for the fetus," ...

Changes wrought by the #MeToo movement can't come soon enough, say researchers who found that for 1 in 16 U.S. women, their first sexual experience was forced.

"In a nationally representative sample of more than 13,000 women, 6.5% said their first sexual encounters was forced as opposed to voluntary," said the study's lead author, Dr. Laura Hawks.

That's equivalent...

Pregnant women are often told to sleep on their left side to reduce the risk of stillbirth, but new research suggests they can choose whatever position is most comfortable through most of the pregnancy.

"We can reassure women that through 30 weeks of pregnancy, different sleep positions are safe," said study lead author Dr. Robert Silver, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the ...

Over the past four decades, the U.S. has seen a sharp rise in the number of pregnant women with high blood pressure, new research reveals.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from about 151 million hospitalizations between 1970 and 2010 to determine the rates of chronic high blood pressure in pregnant women aged 15 to 49.

Chronic high blood pressure was defined as ...

The success of your tummy tuck may depend on whether you've borne children, a new study suggests.

Pregnancy-related widening and thinning of the belly muscles may reduce the effectiveness of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery, researchers found. This is especially true in women who've had multiple pregnancies.

But Dr. Gregory Dumanian and colleagues at Northwestern Memoria...

For most healthy women, exercise during pregnancy is as important as it is at all times of life. It brings benefits such as better overall health, preventing back pain and keeping you regular, which can be a challenge for some women.

While low-impact aerobic activities like walking are often emphasized, research has found a surprising benefit to working out in the weight room. It turn...

Just small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, researchers warn.

They analyzed 24 studies conducted between 1970 and 2019 that included more than 231,000 pregnant women.

They found that drinking alcohol during pregnancy -- even small amounts -- increases odds of miscarriage by 19%. Among women who have fewer than five drinks a week, ...

A concerning number of U.S. women are exposed to the MRI contrast agent gadolinium early in pregnancy, a new study reveals.

In many cases, this exposure occurs before women know they're pregnant.

The researchers said their findings underscore the need for effective pregnancy screening measures before using gadolinium, which can cross the placenta and enter fetal circulation....

Pregnant women with lower concentrations of the trace mineral manganese or higher amounts of the metal cadmium in their blood may be more likely to develop preeclampsia, according to a new study.

Preeclampsia is a leading contributor to illness and death for women during and immediately following pregnancy. There are very few ways to prevent the blood pressure-related condition, whic...

Pregnant women should keep in mind that donating their umbilical cord blood could save lives, a clinical cell therapy expert says.

Cord blood is the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a healthy baby, said Fabio Triolo. He is director of the Cellular Therapy Core laboratories at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Cord bl...

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to unhealthy post-pregnancy weight for moms, and a higher risk of obesity and related conditions in their children. But not gaining enough weight has consequences, too.

Historical studies on children born during times of famine show they have twice the risk as the general population of developing schizophrenia and other mental illnesse...

Exposure to cigarette smoke in utero strongly harms a newborn heart's ability to repair itself after injury, according to a preliminary study of mice.

Findings in animals may not translate to humans, but researchers of the new study hope it helps scientists advance their understanding of possible regeneration in adult human hearts. They presented their findings this week at the Ameri...

Women who keep moving during pregnancy may have infants with more advanced motor skills, a small study suggests.

Researchers discovered the difference among 1-month-olds: Those whose moms got regular aerobic exercise during pregnancy tended to have stronger movement skills, versus babies whose mothers did not.

The movement tests included things like head turning, said resear...

If moving is never easy, then moving while you are pregnant has got to be a grueling experience.

But could it actually harm your baby? Yes, a new investigation warns.

The researchers found that switching homes during the first three months of pregnancy was tied to an increased risk that a baby would be born prematurely or at a low birth weight.

"Moving has been on ...

A "dual burden" of serious maternal complications and premature birth occurs in about one in 270 births, a new study finds.

But hospital staff are often blind to the stress caused by this double whammy, researchers say.

"The situation of combined maternal and newborn complications is likely to be extremely stressful for families concerned for both the mother's and the infa...

New British research is bolstering the theory that elevated levels of sex hormones in the uterus could play a role in autism risk.

Prior studies had already implicated higher uterine concentrations of male sex hormones -- androgens -- in increasing the odds for an autism spectrum disorder, noted a team led by Simon Baron-Cohen. He directs the Autism Research Center at the University o...

The danger that air pollution poses to the hearts and lungs of adults is well-documented, but new research suggests that newborns are also at risk.

Infants of mothers who were exposed to high levels of air pollution in the week before giving birth were more likely to end up in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).

"Short-term exposure to most types of air pollutants may in...

Use of risky CT scans during pregnancy has risen significantly in North America in the past two decades, a new study finds.

"It's important to quantify exposure to ionizing radiation because it can cause cancer and birth defects, and should be kept to a minimum, especially during pregnancy," said co-lead author Marilyn Kwan. She's a senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente North...

Could following a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy help head off gestational diabetes and excess weight gain?

A British study says the answer is yes.

But the researchers added that the eating regimen -- which is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and olive oil -- does not reduce the overall risk of complications for mother and baby.

Th...

Improving cardiovascular health during the early stages of pregnancy can lead not only to a healthier pregnancy, it also can greatly improve a woman's long-term heart health, new research shows.

The findings, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, underscore the importance of entering pregnancy in optimal health. They also suggest an opportunity fo...

Hundreds of pregnancies still occur every year among U.S. women taking an acne medication that carries a high risk of birth defects, a new study finds.

"While the number of pregnancies among patients taking isotretinoin is low, even 200 pregnancies is too high," said corresponding author Dr. Arash Mostaghimi. He is director of dermatology inpatient service and co-director of the Compl...

The number of preterm births to Hispanic women in the United States inched up shortly after the 2016 election -- raising the question of whether the political climate played a role, researchers say.

The study, of births between 2009 and 2017, found an uptick in preterm deliveries among Hispanic women that occurred in the nine months after President Trump was elected.

During ...

Pot use and pregnancy hardly go hand-in-hand for health reasons, but more American women are using marijuana just before and right after they become pregnant, new research warns.

"These findings should alert women's health clinicians to be aware of potential increases in daily and weekly cannabis use among their patients," said lead study author Kelly Young-Wolff. She is a research sc...

A new study confirms that when it comes to assessing heart health, an important question a doctor can ask an African American woman is, "Did you have complications during a pregnancy?"

The study, published Monday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, analyzed data collected on 439 African American women who had a coronary CT angiogram...

More vegetables, more whole grains: New research finds that diets rich in fiber might help pregnant women avoid a dangerous spike in blood pressure.

The common obstetric complication is called preeclampsia, and it occurs in up to 10% of pregnancies. It's characterized by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe swelling in the mother.

Preeclampsia also interf...

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women can take comfort in new findings that suggest flu vaccines won't harm their fetuses.

Canadian researchers examined data on more than 104,000 children born in the province of Ontario between November 2009 and October 2010. Of those, 30% were born to mothers who received the H1N1 vaccine during their pregnancy.

Th...

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