March 17, 2008

Contraceptives - What are Norplant implants

Norplant implants are progestin-only injectable contraceptives. They are small rods of a size of a match that are inserted under the upper arm’s skin through a minor 10-minute surgery.

Norplant consists of six rods and its successor Norplant II or Jadelle consists of 2, both types of implants are no longer available in the U.S. since 2002 and 2007 respectively.

Another similar progestin-only implant, Implanon that consists of only one rod took the lead in the States when it was approved by the FDA in 2006.

How it works?

Norplant is inserted under your arm and can remain there up to 5 years. After 24 hours after it was inserted it starts the slow release of the hormone progestin that prevents pregnancy.

This hormone thicken cervical mucous so as to create an anti-sperm barrier. It also suppresses ovulation as well as the endometrium, the thin uterus lining to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

How effective is Norplant?

Norplant appeared circa 1990 and it was a groundbreaking contraceptive back them because of its as-good-as-sterilization effectiveness, except that it could be reversed.

However, its effectiveness depends much on who’s using it. For instance, teenagers, overweight women and women who have had hard capsules instead of soft ones are more likely to not have good results with Norplant.

Why is no longer available in the U.S?

Norplant is no longer commercialized in the States and other countries due to the severity of side effects experienced by some Norplant users. So if you are having Norplants for the time being, you will have to use another kind of contraceptive after you get them removed.

Source: Epigee

March 15, 2008

The baby "business" of assisted reproduction

Seeing assisted reproduction as any other commercial business as fashion, food, cars or any other give us the shivers. But for some people involved, it actually is as the money keeps rolling.

Just in 2004, the U.S. totalled almost $ 3 million in fertility treatments. Therefore, it seems necessary to confront to set some rules to correct problems going on with parents and the babies.

Here is when bioethics comes, while some genetic engineering sites warn about “customizing” children in IQ, appearance, etc. research demonstrates this “baby design” comes to the extent of screening out genetic diseases. Parents are not exactly looking for a premium baby, but for a healthy one.

That is why a tighter government regulation is needed, as for issues like fertility centers disclosing health risks of any procedures and the relevant success rates (premature babies, cerebral palsy, and others that are common in multiple births).

Other proposed regulations would be disclosing information to technology-produced children about their genetic parents. And also instil health insure agencies to cover certain treatments of IVF, while defining those that would not be paid for.


December 31, 2007

Vitex Infertility Pills -What are they and how they work

If you ever wondered what those Vitex Pills are, we break it down simple here it for you. They are natural infertility pills named after the herb Vitex Agnus Castus, familiarly known as the Monks Pepper, is sued to produce a standarized extract called chasteberry.

This herb was traditionally used to treat
hormonal imbalances in women. and nowadays it is used to treat other conditions such as:

  • Irregular ovulation
  • Amenorrhea (abscense of menstrual period)
  • Anovulation (abscense of ovulation)
  • Premenstrual symptoms (PMS), headache and mood swings
  • Policystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Peri menopausal and menopausal symptoms, especially hot flushes
How Vitex works? Vitex works on the pituitary gland, the hormone in charge of let our body know it has to produce the appropriate amounts of each hormone, among them, progesterone (involved in the menstrual cycle, gestation and embryogenesis), and on the other hand, reduces the amounts of prolactin (that would cause irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, impotence and milk production without being pregnant).

IT IS NOT A HORMONE. It boosts hormonal production.

November 8, 2007

Fertility supplements – Healthy Alternative aids to increase fertility

Since many couples show reluctant to the excessive intake of drugs for fertility treatments, medicine has given a more patient-friendly and safer solution in the form of fertility supplements.

Whether they are medical or herbal, fertility supplements are being taken more seriously both by the doctors themselves, and by patients due to their positive results in the increase of conception rates, and as a healthy alternative to conventional treatments.

Why couples are turning to fertility supplements?

Fact: Over 15% of couples in the U.S. have fertility problems.

A third of this number of these cases, it is the man who has fertility problems, another third is due to female fertility, and the last third because both are infertile.

Considering these number, you can tell it is always a challenge for medicine to look for new and better alternatives to overcome infertility.

Fertility supplements are formulated to satisfy the health needs of each sex, especially those related to nutritional deficiencies.

November 3, 2007

Fertility cycle and nutrition - Part III

Natural elements and minerals for fertility

1. Folic Acid: The lack of folic acid can cause both male and female fertility.

Folic Acid Sources : meat, seafood, green-leaf vegetables, cereals, and legumes.

2. Zinc: Elevates the levels of testosterone and increase perm count and motility. However you should not take high doses of zinc for too long since it can reduce the body's natural reserves of copper.

Zinc Sources: read meat, cashews, peanuts and Brazilian nuts.

3. Selenium: Increases sperm count and volume when it is taken along with vitamin E. It also helps increase progesterone.

Selenium Sources : Brazilian nuts, cereals, seafood, algae and wheat germ.

4. Iron: Very important mineral for fertility.

Iron sources: red meat, legumes, liver and eggs

5. L-Arginine: This amino acid is important for semen production and male fertility.

L-arginine sources: milk products, chicken, meat, nuts and chocolate.

6. L-carnitine: It's necessary for the good function of sperm cells.

L-carnitine sources: red meat, beer yeast, wheat germ, and soybean vegetal protein

7. Isoflavones: Regulate estrogen imbalance.

Isoflavones sources: Soybean

8. Coenzyme Q10: Prevents lipid peroxidation of spermatozoids and favors sperm motility.

Coenzyme Q10 sources: sardines, mackerel, meat, lamb, pork, eggs, wheat germ, peanuts and whole grains.

November 1, 2007

Fertility cycle and nutrition - Part II

Five most important vitamins for fertility

The following are fundamental elements that help maintaining the male and female reproductive systems in good condition for conception:

- Vitamin A: Increases female and male fertility since it takes part in the formation of steroids, base of sexual and suprarenal hormones, especilaly in the synthesis of progesterone.

Sources of Vitamin A: carrots, pumpkins, apricots, and most green-leaf vegetables.

- Vitamin B6: Increases the levels of progesterone and improves female fertility.

Sources of vitamin B6: cereals, nuts and legumes.

- Vitamin B12: Increase the number of spermatozoids (sperm count).

Sources of Vitamin B12: Eggs, meat, milk and milk products.

- Vitamin C: Protects spermatozoids from oxidation damage, increases sperm count and motility, and reduces the number of sperm abnormalities.

Sources of Vitamin C: kiwi, rose hip, acerola (Barbados cherry)

- Vitamin E: It is improtnat gonad (testrs and ovaries) function, improves sperm motility and prevents the lipid peroxidation (degradtion) of sperm.

Sources of Vitamin E: Seeds oils, olive oil, nuts and almonds

January 20, 2007

Fertility cycle and nutrition - Part I

How nutrition affects fertility

Nutrition is important for fertility since it greatly depends on sperm quality (men) and hormonal balance (women). Usually when we talk a bout fertility treatments you have to consider these points:

  • Healhty lyfestyle (free of hazardous habits)
  • Playing sports
  • And yes, eating well
Weigth loss diets -particularly those fast speed diets- with no medical guidance can result in female infertility since they usually exclude some foods that provide basic nutrients for the organism. Generally fats are the first to be eliminated, when they are actually necessary for the formation of the hormone progesterone.
With these diets there is also the risk of loosing important elements as: Calcium, selenium, zinc, iodine, iron; and vitamins as A, B1, C, D and E , necessaries for the good function of the female repreductive system.

Toxic substances for fertility cycle

Toxic substances: In a normal diet are many toxic substances as toxins, metals, and chemical subtances of fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture thta may affectt he quality of spermatozoids. For this, you have organic foods as a good option.

Caffeine: In women, caffeine (coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate ) reduces the levels of prolactine in blood, and when this hormones is low it is hard to conceive. In men, caffeine makes spermatozoids become more active and faster.

Alcohol: It diminishes levels of testosterone, making sperm production difficult. In women, this affects menstrual and fertility cycle (ovulation), even producing antiovulatory cycles.

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