Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ultrasound instead of ovarian reserve test

A study has shown that ultrasound-based tests could be used instead of hormone-based ovarian reserve tests to predict the number of eggs a woman's ovaries would produce when stimulated during IVF treatment. Janet Kwee et. al. from Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre in Amsterdam published the results of their study in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. They studied 110 women aged 18-39 who had difficulty conceiving, counting the number of antral follicles, small egg-bearing ovarian follicles about 2-10 mm in diameter, with transvaginal sonography (ultrasound). Their conclusion was that the follicle count is just as good a test for ovarian response as expensive and time consuming endocrine tests.

The article is available on the website of Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology at http://www.rbej.com/

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Hot baths may reduce male fertility

I think this is old news, or at least an old wives' tale, that sitting in a hot tub reduces a man's fertility. But now there has actually been a study completed at the University of California, San Fransico that seems to indicate this is true. Men participating in the study who changed their normal bathing habits to avoid hot baths for three to six months saw a big jump in sperm motility.

So an old wives' tale seems to have been validated. However, the study consisted of only 11 men. Those numbers are pretty small from which to draw firm conclusions. There may be many other uncontrolled factors in the experiment. Still, it is a simple adjustment to make if there are fertility issues. The other urban legend, that frequent use of laptop computers may reduce fertility, has some backing from research published in the Journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology. They also mention tight underwear as a factor.

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