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Eggs (oocytes) frozen via ventrification as good as fresh ones

In a report appearing in the February 2011 online edition of the journal Human Reproduction, Peruvian researchers reiterate findings earlier studies  showing that fertilization outcomes from vitrified oocytes are similar to those obtained from fresh oocytes. Vitrified oocytes had a survival rate of 89.4%, the researchers report. The fertilization rate in the vitrification group was 76.1% compared to 87.5% seen in the fresh group, a difference that was not statistically significant. More...



Passive smoking increases risk of stillbirth

Hot on the heels of the Lancet report in November 2010 showing that second-hand smoke (passive smoking) is responsible for a staggering annual early deaths totalling over 600,000, a new study now shows that passive smoking is also a significant risk for pregnant mothers increasing both stillbirths and birth defects.  More...



Topiramate in pregnancy a risk for cleft defects

Topiramate (also available in brand names Topamax or Topiragen), one of the common anti-epileptic drugs that is sometimes taken during pregnancy, has been confirmed to increase the likelihood of babies being born with cleft lip and cleft palate, according to new data, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has written in a communiqué.  . More...



Blood test for Down’s syndrome prenatal diagnosis?

In a report published online, the journal Nature reports of a potentially important breakthrough in the search for a non-invasive test for Down’s syndrome to replace amniocentesis and CVS currently used to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of this and other chromosomal disorders. The study was carried out by researchers at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics and was supported by the University of Cyprus. More...


Pregnancy, multiple births and obesity: Risk factors for ‘triple-negative’ breast cancer

It has been reported that two of the largest studies to date looking at this triple-negative breast cancer have found that reproductive factors, specifically, pregnancy and multiple childbirth as well as obesity and lack of physical activity increase the risk for the disease. It is an established fact that pregnancy does reduce the risk of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer (the commonest type. More...



Induction of labour in the absence of medical indication may not be a smart move

Inducing labour without a medical indication is associated with negative outcomes for the mother, including increased rates of caesarean delivery, greater risk of postpartum haemorrhage and an extended length of stay in the hospital, and does not provide any benefit for the newborn. The new findings, published in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. More...



Malarone in pregnancy: No evidence of birth defects

Pregnant women who take the anti-malarial atovaquone- proguanil  (more popularly known by its brand name Malarone) during their first trimester might not be increasing their baby's risk of birth defects, a new study suggests. "Atovaquone- proguanil exposure at any time in weeks 3 through 8 after conception was not significantly associated with increased risk of any major birth defect," write the researchers.. More...



Potential blood test for ectopic pregnancy

Scientists at The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine may have discovered protein markers that could provide doctors with the first reliable blood test to predict ectopic pregnancies. Their findings are presented in the February 16, 2011 issue of the Journal of Proteome Research. In a related small-scale study of clinical samples, published recently in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the researchers found that one of the proteins-ADAM12-showed a nearly 97 percent correlation with ectopic pregnancy. More...



Rapid Group B Strep (GBS) Test advocated in labour

There is a wide divergence in the philosophy of how to deal with Group B streptococcal ‘infection’ for pregnant women between Europe and North America. While European doctors actively discourage testing for the bacteria in pregnancy, in the United States and Canada, testing for Group B strep is done routinely in the third trimester. Now, a study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting The Pregnancy Meeting™, in San Francisco, advocates going furthers. More...



Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring “greatly reduces infant mortality”: Study

In a study presented on February the 12th, 2011 at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting ™, in San Francisco, USA; researchers presented findings that are claimed to prove that the use of fetal heart rate monitors lowers the rate of infant mortality. There have been a handful of small studies conducted in the past that looked at the effectiveness of fetal heart rate monitors, but none of them were large enough to be conclusive. More...



Breast implants and risk of rare forms of cancer

In the last week of January 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that women with either saline- or silicone gel–filled breast implants may have a very small but significant risk for a rare cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) adjacent to the implant. More...



Simple ovarian cysts after the menopause: Largely harmless

A large study has shown that simple ovarian cysts are rather common during menopause and most either remain stable or resolve during follow-up . More...



Treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

One of the challenges that continually face public health officials is to stay on top of the rampant sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also knows as STDs, in the face of the ever-evolving resistance to drugs which lose their ability to successfully treat the infections in question.  New guidelines intended to assist the clinician with the management of persons who have, or are at risk for, sexually transmitted diseases were released in December 2010. Although these guidelines emphasize treatment, prevention strategies and diagnostic evaluation are also discussed. Some of the key changes include the prevention and treatment of HPV, gonorrhea, and lymphogranuloma venereum proctocolitis.. More...





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