Archive for the ‘health’ Category

bioZhena & Women’s Fertility Watch(ing)

March 3, 2015

bioZhena & Women’s Fertility Watch(ing)

Let’s bring women’s personal management of sex life (“can I conceive today?”) into the Information Age.

And provide diagnostic vital-sign menstrual profiles to doctors & payers along the way.

https://biozhena.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/ovulona-quick-intro-4-slides1.pps

Lovers (Mr. and Mrs. Hembus) - Kirchner

Recapping why a non-hormonal birth control option for women is a good idea because of the drug’s brain effects

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Serious health consequences of delaying pregnancy, and the need for prevention of impaired fertility also known as subfertility and infertility

January 2, 2013

Simply put: We must talk prevention versus treatment of this health condition, which is not inevitable. On the present large scale, impaired fertility is anthropogenic – where anthropogenic means “caused or produced by humans”. When trying to conceive, it is highly advisable not to delay baby making beyond the optimal age of early 20s, and in any case to practice “focused intercourse”. In that connection (with said focus), “anthropogenic” acquires a positive connotation – even if my introduction is no longer exactly simply put!

Absolute Must: Focus on Fertile Window

The said focus on focused intercourse is an absolute must, and you save yourself a lot of grief that way because there can be no conception outside of the fertile window, whether subfertile or not. This should really be in your mind and in your heart when you are trying to conceive. And if you are, unfortunately, past the optimal age of early twenties, just try and don’t delay pregnancy any longer – for a good reason (or rather for several good reasons)!

To expand on this, let the scene be set by excerpts from a review in a medical journal written already 10 years ago by a consultant in reproductive medicine (director of an assisted conception unit in London): “ABC of subfertility. Extent of the problem”, BMJ 2003 August 23; 327(7412): 434–436 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC188498/).

QUOTE: One in six couples [17%] have an unwanted delay in conception. Roughly half of these couples will conceive either spontaneously or with relatively simple advice or treatment.

Most couples presenting with a fertility problem do not have absolute infertility (that is, no chance of conception), but rather relative subfertility with a reduced chance of conception… so that only 4% remain involuntarily childless. As each couple has a substantial chance of conceiving without treatment, relating the potential benefit of treatment to their chances of conceiving naturally is important…  END QUOTE.

Encouraging (isn’t it?)

This is rather encouraging, isn’t it? The cited reproductive medicine specialist states further that spontaneous conception has about a 30% conception rate in the first month of trying, and the chance then falls steadily to about 5% by the end of the first year. Such statistical pronouncements are just that. The following citation is unarguably meaningful – and we do not gloss over the “timing of intercourse during the natural cycle”.

“The likelihood of spontaneous conception is affected by [= is dependent on] age, previous pregnancy, duration of subfertility, timing of intercourse during the natural cycle, extremes of body mass, and [any] pathology present. A reasonably high spontaneous pregnancy rate still occurs even after the first year of trying. A strong association exists between subfertility and increasing female age. The reduction in fertility is greatest in women in their late 30s and early 40s. For women aged 35-39 years the chance of conceiving spontaneously is about half that of women aged 19-26 years.” QUOTE UNQUOTE.

These things have been covered in the various earlier posts of this blog, with appropriate emphasis on said timing of intercourse during the natural menstrual cycle. That’s because, even if you did have a previous pregnancy and you do NOT have an extreme body mass and/or a pathology causing the difficulty to get pregnant, you (and anyone else) can only conceive during the short fertile period, the so-called fertile window.

… but: “Be a young mother!”

And, I go again as far as urging you, “Be a young mother!” As I said, this earnest recommendation is for a good reason. Because, in addition to what I have told you about before (e.g. in https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/the-perils-of-ivf-of-arts-of-giving-birth-at-old-age-part-2/ ), now see and grasp this:

Serious health consequences of delayed conception are beginning to appear in medical literature; that is, serious consequences for the mother, for the would-be mum.

For example, in a paper titled “Subfertility and risk of later life maternal cardiovascular disease” published in Hum. Reprod. 2012 Feb;27(2):568-75 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131387). The authors gave this background: “Subfertility shares common pathways with cardiovascular disease (CVD), including polycystic ovarian syndrome [PCOS], obesity and thyroid disorders. Women with prior no or just one pregnancy are at an increased risk of incident CVD when compared with women with two pregnancies.”

They concluded that subfertility among women who eventually have a childbirth is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As if we all did not know that even without subfertility adding to it, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women [see http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Gender_matters_Heart_disease_risk_in_women.htm or literally millions of other web pages].

Anderle - Bestia triumphans II

Jiří Anderle / Jiri Anderle
Bestia triumphans II
lept, měkký kryt / etching, vernis mou
1984, opus 271, 65 x 95,5 cm
http://www.galerieart.cz/prodej_anderle_2.htm
For the “triumphant beast” and Giordano Bruno’s story see http://twitpic.com/8r5lyi

More reasons to prevent subfertility

But there is not just the cardiovascular risk, as if that were not enough! Concerns about cancer risk in connection with subfertility have been raised in medical literature already about a decade ago, such as in the paper “Cancer risk associated with subfertility and ovulation induction: a review” – published in Cancer Causes Control 2000 Apr;11(4):319-44 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10843444).

However, there “the only consistent association observed is an increased risk of endometrial cancer for women with subfertility due to hormonal disorders. While positive findings in some studies on fertility drugs and ovarian cancer risk have aroused serious concern, the associations observed in most of these reports appear to be due to bias or chance rather than being causal.”

So, as always, more investigations are needed but the health concern does not go away. The paper concluded: “To discriminate between the possible carcinogenic effects of various ovulation induction regimens, subfertility disorders, and reproductive characteristics associated with subfertility, future studies should include large populations of subfertile women with sufficient follow-up time.”

Well, the truth is that my purpose – and the purpose of bioZhena Corporation – is to make the population of subfertile women as small as possible, by helping every one of you to determine in every menstrual cycle the very narrow fertile window for your focused intercourse, the fundamental requirement for getting pregnant.

This fundamental requirement you already know, I trust. If not, explore the bioZhena’s Weblog for clarification (you can use Table of Contents at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/table-of-contents-links-to-biozhena-posts/ or try searching the blog by means of the widget in the margin on the home page, shown as Search bioZhena’s Weblog – enter keyword, hit Enter). It is frustrating that one of my recent blog pieces had to be on the subject of only the best that you can do for your fertility awareness in the absence of the Ovulona™ – because our Ovulona is not yet available to you due to our lack of financing (see https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/end-of-the-year-and-trying-to-get-pregnant/ ).

Anthropogenic, iatrogenic

Meanwhile, here is another medical-literature paper, this time about cancer risk of drugs that the healthcare industry uses to help women get pregnant – after helping women to prevent pregnancy with another (the big P) drug, the anthropogenic cause of what experts have called the epidemic of impaired fertility: “Ovulation inducing agents and cancer risk: review of literature” published in Curr Drug Saf. 2011 Sep 1;6(4):250-8 (find the abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129320).

The authors give the following summary: “Over the past decades, the use of ovulation inducing drugs has been increasing. A possible causal link between fertility treatments (especially [the widely used] clomiphene citrate and gonadotrophins) and various types of malignancies, including cancers of female reproductive system, thyroid cancer and melanoma, has been postulated. The majority of the available studies on this subject suffer from methodological limitations, including the small number of outcomes, short and incomplete follow-up, and inability to control for potential confounders.

Concerning ovarian cancer, while early studies led to the suggestion of an association between ovulation inducing agents and increased risk of malignancies, the majority of data do not support a causal link.

An increased risk was recently observed in women giving birth after in vitro fertilization (IVF), but it appeared to be consequential to the infertile status rather than the effect of fertility drugs. More controversial are the results concerning breast cancer with some investigations suggesting an increased risk after exposure to ovulation inducing agents, especially clomiphene citrate, whereas others not supporting this concept. A possible trend towards an increased risk has been reported by some authors for endometrial cancer.

Altogether, current data should be thus regarded as a signal for the need of further studies rather than being definitive in them.” END QUOTE.

After introduction of the anti-conception Pill

I must emphasize and impress on you the fact that subfertility and infertility became a societal problem of increasingly large proportions only after the introduction of the anti-conception Pill. “After 3 and up to 15 months of contraceptive pill use, there is a greater loss of the S crypt cells than can be replaced.” The S crypts of the endocervical canal are needed for conception.

To further cite Professor Erik Odeblad : “Complications arising from the use of the Pill are very frequent. Infertility after its use for 7-15 years is a very serious problem. S crypts are very sensitive to normal and cyclical stimulation by natural estrogens, and the Pill causes atrophy of these crypts. Fertility is impaired since the movement of sperm cells up the canal is reduced. Treatment is difficult.”

You can find more on this in my earlier post, Difficult to conceive – Google evidence that pregnancy complications and trying-to-conceive concerns shot up after the Pill launch in 1960s. (Regardless of what contraceptive proponents tell you.)

MARINA RICHTEROVÁ - Golgota, Hommage a P. Bruegel, 1998 and The Juliet, 2000

MARINA RICHTEROVÁ – Golgota, Hommage a P. Bruegel, 1998 and The Juliet, 2000

(Picture from https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/the-perils-of-ivf-of-arts-of-giving-birth-at-old-age-part-2/marina-richterova-golgota-hommage-a-p-bruegel-1998-and-the-juliet-2000/ )

Ignored. Now, the consequences

I am reminded of an insight expressed on the floor of the US Congress after the Pill made a big impact on society in the 1960s. In 1970, Dr. Hugh J. Davies of Johns Hopkins University told the US Senate in the Nelson Hearings about the contraceptive Pill: “Never before in history have so many people taken such powerful medication with so little information as to its actual and potential risks. …With the introduction of such active ingredients, we are actually setting up a massive endocrinological experiment with millions of healthy women.”

Well, decades later we are reaping the consequences of the massive experiment. Said millions of healthy women are not quite so healthy, are they? It is high time to fix this man-made problem.

In an earlier post I wrote: Iatrogenic medicine kicking Hippocrates where it hurts the most. Was it in the blog piece last-linked above?

Why screen for cervical cancer (and for the other STIs, sexually transmitted infections)?

July 29, 2011

Why all women need to screen for cervical tissue health, whether or not they accept that Nature is powerful (only  virgins don’t need to)

I will tell you why screening for this sexually transmitted infection (STI) is much needed, if you promise that you will not shoot the messenger. Exaggerating? Not really, if or when you realize that chances are that you yourself are already infected.

Is it so serious?

I say that because “current evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of sexually active women have been infected with one or more types of HPV”. Most people with HPV have no symptoms. When the infection is present, symptoms may or may not include genital warts.

HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus. That is the virus that causes cervical cancer, and goes slowly about it, which is both good and bad. Good because the disease can be treated before it kills, and bad because it may take so long before it raises its ugly head that it can come completely unexpected in the mature middle age and even later. That is why vigilance (meaning, screening for it) throughout one’s lifetime is well worth it – unless you are a fatalist.

Collage of drevoryt woodcuts Dekameron, Ceský dekameron, Bakchanálie by Zdenek Mézl 1980

Collage of drevoryt woodcuts Dekameron, Ceský dekameron, Bakchanálie by Zdenek Mézl 1980     Links:      http://www.ikup.cz/item.php?id=600279&lan=EN        http://www.galerieart.cz/mezl_cesky_dekameron_I.JPG              http://www.galerieart.cz/prodej_mezl_staroveke_baje.htm

“Furthermore, the potential risk of infection from non-penetrative sexual contact remains undetermined, including the possible association between oral-penile contact and oral HPV, which is associated with oral cancer.” You can read this online in the peer-reviewed scientific publication Am. J. Epidemiol. (2003) 157(3): 218226. The experts give a reference (ref. 3) for the 50%+ statistic, and elsewhere the Medical Institute for Sexual Health writes http://www.medinstitute.org/public/92.cfm  : “About half of all sexually active 18- to 22-year-old women are infected with it (ref. 10 = J Infect Dis. 2001;183(11):1554-1564)”.

Either way, let’s watch out for the killer disease, which fortunately is curable – if caught early. If not caught early (that is, if not detected, diagnosed and treated), The Ravisher wins.

Cervical cancer causes about the same number of deaths as HIV/AIDS every year [two references for this statement are cited in the above Medical Institute article http://www.medinstitute.org/public/92.cfm ].

Young Woman Attacked By Death (or The Ravisher) - Albrecht Durer

Young Woman Attacked By Death (or The Ravisher) – Albrecht Durer

Get this! The most common STI. Both young and mature women in danger

Get this: The human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world, and it is the most important cause of cervical cancer, a major killer of women worldwide (the second biggest).

Another horrible statistic is that, according to a CDC study, one in four (26 percent) young women, girls between the ages of 14 and 19 in the United States – or 3.2 million teenage girls – are now infected with at least one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Those are human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, herpes simplex virus, and trichomoniasis. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080312084645.htm .

A bad news for the mature women, who are past their best years for birthing, is this: “Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide. Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been shown to be the precursor of cervical cancer in over 99% of the cases. … Although women aged 40 and above are not specifically considered high risk for HPV infection, many women are testing positive in this age group and are facing the impact of an HPV diagnosis that implicates a sexually transmitted disease and is known to be a precursor to cervical cancer.” So is written in J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2010 Feb; 22(2):92-100, in a paper titled “The human papillomavirus in women over 40: implications for practice and recommendations for screening”.

The Plague by Arnold Böcklin, 1898

Arnold Böcklin, The Plague, 1898

Pap smear test. Important. But problematic

While the Pap smear diagnostic screening has significantly improved the situation over the many years since its introduction (first published by the inventor, Dr. Georgios Nicholas Papanikolaou late in the decade of “the swinging 1920s” but only recognized in the 1940s), at least 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the United States, accounting for at least 4,000 deaths. Statistics cited from J Sch Nurs. 2007 Dec; 23(6):310-4.

As commented in June 2011 at http://to.ly/aCD3 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/8554793/Women-making-excuses-to-avoid-cervical-cancer-smear-tests.html ), #Cervical #cancer “smear tests are invasive, uncomfortable, embarrassing, and often are badly diagnosed”. Another reader concluded: “De-stigmatize cervical  cancer and do some work to make the test less unpleasant – more #women will go” (will go to get the expensive test at a clinic, hoping for a negative result – and for not getting an unexpected huge bill, whether insured or uninsured in the U.S.).

Additional to the advantage of an objective electronic test over the subjective evaluation of a Pap smear: Is there a better way to avoid stigmatization than testing for cervical health in the privacy of one’s home, and in so doing making the test incomparably less off-putting, painless and perfectly affordable for anyone?

Similar to what the Pap smear can do, our tissue biosensing technique should detect the pre-cancerous tissue aberration called squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL) or dysplasia, which is the earliest form of pre-cancerous lesion recognizable by a pathologist. Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinoma_in_situ .

Unlike the pathologist’s subjective assessment of the Pap smear sample, our in vivo monitoring method provides for an objective electronic evaluation.

In countries like India, the cervical cancer prevalence statistics are much worse, an order of magnitude higher. A big problem is that, among the general population, “knowledge about the relationship of HPV to cervical cancer is low even in the United States and the United Kingdom”. [Rapose A., Human papillomavirus and genital cancer. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2009;75:236-44.] So therefore, we are trying to do something about that.

Screening is really necessary. Here is why

There are two main reasons why screening for cervical cancer is and will continue to be necessary.

1. One is that the recently introduced HPV vaccines are far from perfect, and they explicitly require continued screening. Even the most expert proponents of HPV vaccination, and not just the vaccine manufacturers, say and write that.

Antonín Procházka, Milenci s knihou, litografie/lithograph, 1941

Antonín Procházka, Milenci s knihou, litografie/lithograph, 1941

2. Then there is the other reason for the necessity of continued cervical cancer vigilance. It is that, contrary to the oft trumpeted exclamations, the classic “invention of a certain doctor Condom” does not make for safe sex, because it (the condom) only reduces, and certainly does not eliminate, not only the chances of becoming pregnant but also the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. These are medico-scientifically proven facts.

The condom and similar barriers do not completely and reliably eliminate the chances of pregnancy if you happen to have sex during the mere three fertile days of your menstrual cycle (when you are outside of the fertile window, pregnancy simply cannot occur). And, condoms and similar barriers do not completely eliminate – they only reduce – the chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections including HPV.

Sources, evidence – cervix is vulnerable

For sources of this statement of fact, see for example the already referenced http://www.medinstitute.org/public/92.cfm : “Each year, there are about 19 million new infections; half of these are in people under 25 (ref. 2). Many of these STIs have no cure. Untreated STIs can cause infertility, cancer and even death.” In that article is also where you see the references for the statements that “If you use condoms every time you have vaginal sex, you can cut your chance of getting HPV by up to half (references 6,7,8,9)… In women, cervical cancer causes about the same number of deaths as HIV/AIDS every year (refs. 12,13).”

Note this: Evidence shows that HPV is contracted if sex is had at too early an age and/or if sex is had promiscuously as a one night stand entertainment, or even too early into a relationship.

The cervix is particularly vulnerable to infection between the first menstruation and the age of sixteen because there are still many undifferentiated cells at the surface of the cervix, which is therefore  susceptible to HPV infection [http://www.mendeley.com/research/early-first-intercourse-risk-factor-cervical-cancer/]. As cancer is a disease of failure of regulation of tissue growth, HPV causes these cells to transform into cancer cells by altering the genes which regulate cell growth and differentiation.

Edgar Degas - Young Spartans Exercising, circa 1860

Edgar Degas – Young Spartans Exercising, circa 1860

An interesting story associated with the Degas painting includes “that the work could encompass a variety of meanings”, and that the fully dressed onlookers in the background are the youths’ mothers with Lycurgus, the legendary lawgiver of Sparta, who established the military-oriented reformation of Spartan society in accordance with the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi.

Reflecting on research findings

This blog post is not some exercise in moralizing. I am merely reporting or reflecting on medico-scientific findings. The above-referenced epidemiologists, Winer et al. [Am J Epidemiol 2003;157:218-26], evaluated young college women in Washington State and found that the risk factors for acquiring a new HPV infection included:

  • sex with a new person in the previous 5-8 months,
  • smoking, and
  • use of oral contraceptives.
  • Always using condoms did not provide protection according to this study.

The experts concluded that “in this population of female university students, the risk of infection associated with new partner acquisition is independent of prior sexual experience”, and that a “…finding suggests that an increased risk of incident HPV infection is more strongly associated with sex with a new partner than with sex with ongoing partners.” Thus written.

Peter Paul Rubens - The Union of Earth and Water, c. 1618

Peter Paul Rubens – The Union of Earth and Water, c. 1618                                  For the sake of appropriate symbolism, her name should be Aphrodite or Venus, of course, the promiscuous  goddess of love, beauty and sexuality!

The authors wrote (and here we cite selected notions to reinforce the mentioned ones).

QUOTE:

  • We detected a significant association between current smoking and incident HPV infection…
  • We also observed a significant association between current oral contraceptive use and incident HPV infection.
  • Having known a new partner for less than 8 months before vaginal intercourse was associated with an increased risk of HPV infection.
  • Reporting a new sex partner who has had one or more or an unknown number of prior female sex partners was also a significant predictor of incident HPV infection.
  • [Data] seems to suggest that the better and longer a woman knows her partner before intercourse, the less her risk of becoming infected with HPV.
  • Consistent with previous studies (4, 7, 11, 17, 29, 30), we observed no protective effect associated with condom use. … Since HPV is transmitted presumably through skin-to-skin contact, condoms may not protect against HPV because the virus can be transmitted through non-penetrative sexual contact.
  • Although vaginal intercourse is clearly the predominant mode of genital HPV transmission … any type of non-penetrative sexual contact was associated with an increased risk of HPV infection in virgins.
  • At 24 months, the cumulative incidence of first-time infection was 32.3%… [FYI: That’s 32% of the 603 young women studied between September 1990 and September 1997 by interview and a standardized pelvic examination every 4 months, including HPV DNA analysis from separate cervical and vulvovaginal swab specimens.]
  • Smoking, oral contraceptive use, and report of a new male sex partner –in particular, one known for less than 8 months before sex occurred or one reporting other partners– were predictive of incident infection. Always using male condoms with a new partner was not protective.
  • The data show that the incidence of HPV associated with acquisition of a new sex partner is high and that non-penetrative sexual contact is a plausible route of transmission in virgins.
  • HPV infections are highly prevalent, and current evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of sexually active women have been infected with one or more types (3).

In conclusion, the present study showed that the incidence of genital HPV associated with acquisition of a new sex partner is high, and that risk of infection is especially high if a partner has been known for less than 8 months and if a partner reports having had sex with other partners.

END OF QUOTES

[from Winer et al., that’s Rachel L. Winer, Shu-Kuang Lee, James P. Hughes, Diane E. Adam, Nancy B. Kiviat and Laura A. Koutsky, in Am J Epidemiol 2003;157:218-26, “Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection: Incidence and Risk Factors in a Cohort of Female University Students”. Let’s also reference http://www.google.com/search?q=Koutsky+LA%2C+Kiviat+NB.+Human+papillomavirus+infections.+In%3A+Holmes+KK%2C+Mardh+PA%2C+Sparling+PF%2C+et+al%2C+eds.+Sexually+transmitted+diseases.+3rd+ed.+New+York%2C+NY%3A+McGraw-Hill%2C+1999%3A347%E2%80%9360.+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a].

Conclusion: Nature is powerful. Nature regulates

My conclusion for you is no preaching but an observation that all this is because Nature is powerful. As simple as that.

In terms of a clarification, or rather a rationalization of the reported findings, since you have an inkling about tissue rejection problems in organ transplantation (you’ve heard about that, haven’t you), I can draw a parallel for you. Think of the meeting of the male and female flesh as a short-lived tissue implant. If the two tissues don’t know each other, if the female has not known the male for sufficiently long, there is a natural reaction, which the cited experts have found manifested as HPV infection (a hint at how that happens: a stranger’s DNA attacks the recipient).

And what’s all this about that Nature is powerful? Well, it is simply to keep in mind that there are some natural laws and principles, such as the one about action and reaction. And, it’s about that Nature regulates

So, there will be a reaction to too much of a good thing (or a bad thing, any thing). I don’t want to get into this too much except to recall that, since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, there has been an enormous increase in the incidence of sexually transmitted infections. Had Georgios (“Pap”) not invented his test in “the swinging ‘20s”, someone would have had to do it in the “revolutionary ‘60s”

As it was, Mrs. Sanger had persuaded her wealthy-widow investor friend that this particular “magic bullet”, her idea of a “magic pill”, was the right approach to reproductive management. Thanks to the Pap, the Western world was sort of ready for the consequences of the Pill at least in terms of the ensuing epidemic of STDs, if not of the epidemic of infertility and of other as yet poorly recognized consequences of this fooling with Mother Nature (à la Ms. Sanger and Mrs. McCormick – “as easy to take as an aspirin”).

The fact is that “while an estimated 1 in 4 Americans will get an STD (sexually transmitted disease) in their lifetime,4 … the United States continues to have the highest STD rates of any country in the industrialized world.2 No effective national program for STD prevention exists… and the American public remains generally unaware of the risk for STDs and the importance of prevention and screening” (per the Kaiser Family Foundation and American Social Health Association).

The National Cervical Cancer Coalition writes:

“By age 24, at least one in three sexually active people are estimated to have had an STD. Teenage girls are especially vulnerable to contracting gonorrhea and chlamydia, which can more easily infect the immature cervix.”

Perhaps you have gathered, from the various bioZhena’s Weblog articles and from our other web information, that we propose to do something about it – about making possible private screening at home for early warning devoid of the problems associated with the Pap smear test.

Oskar Kokoschka, Rejected lover, 1966

Oskar Kokoschka, Rejected lover, 1966

Originally, I intended to illustrate these concluding thoughts with a painting by the grandson of Sigmund Freud, Lucian or Lucien, who passed away the other day (a painting of a sad woman’s face showing from under a bed cover, with a clothed man – guess who – standing hands in pockets and just staring at her – it’s #5 in http://pul.se/muse_Cleveland-Cleveland-OH-caroline-blackwood-2LYALDu533r,d5oww4DQguiE).

But then, Oskar’s more colorful impressionist image seems, well, more colorful, and less realistic… as paintings go.

Instant detection of pregnancy and of Early Pregnancy Loss, EPL – the adversary of Trying To Conceive, TTC – especially after age 25

November 11, 2010

Early Pregnancy Loss is also known as #stillbirth or #miscarriage, or Early Embryonic Mortality (EEM), and the Ovulona™ is a tool of evidence-based personalized medicine.

After the optimum fertility age of the early twenties, achieving motherhood gets more difficult. It becomes even more essential than before to know your three fertile days, during which – and only during which – conception can occur.

The simple basic principle is: Fertility status detection must be easy and reliable. PLUS early pregnancy detection is really important, and it should be built-in, an integral part of the conception-aiding tool.

Why? Because:

1) early in pregnancy the conceived baby would be harmed by some of the medications taken by the woman, e.g. by a psychiatric medication with teratogenic effect (harmful to the fetus, causing a congenital disorder);

and 2) because of the annual 600,000 miscarriages – per CDC statistics – out of the 6 million US births, which means that at least some 10% of pregnancies are lost to early pregnancy loss (EPL), miscarriage, stillbirth.

Many EPLs go unnoticed. The EPL is a part of the TTC [Trying To Conceive] or subfertility/infertility problem. Our Ovulona monitor of FOLLICULOGENESIS IN VIVO™ is the prospective solution for managing the problem.

The Ovulona™ detects the 3 fertile days for conception, and it will also automatically detect pregnancy immediately upon conception. Similar to early pregnancy loss — its detection is the inverse of pregnancy detection, which both involve the follicular waves. Like this:

Follicular waves disappear = pregnancy detected

versus

waves reappear in early pregnancy =  early pregnancy loss detected.

Furthermore, the cyclic profile data captured by the Ovulona can be used by your healthcare provider to assess what is going on, and provide more effective help.

DIFFICULT USE OF EXISTING OPKs [Ovulation Prediction Kits] is shown in the following tweet by a @WannaBeMom: “1st month using opk. Do the lines usually start light and then get darker day by day or do they ever go back & forth b4 ovulation?”

Our electronic device will take the WannaBeMoms into a different world of baby-making. See  http://s755.photobucket.com/user/vaclavkirsner/library/Second%20album/Pregnancy%20and%20birth%20control%20how-to%20by%20bioZhena?sort=2&page=1 = a pictorial “Pregnancy and birth control how-to by bioZhena”.

Honey is Sweeter than Blood by Salavador Dali, 1941

Honey is Sweeter than Blood by Salavador Dali, 1941

For a woman in her 30s who’s had a miscarriage or even two or three, “any delay in attempting conception could further decrease the chances of a healthy baby”, says CNN reporting on a medical study, http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/05/miscarriage.try.again.asap/ .

Study: Women who conceive within six months of miscarriage reduce risk of another.”

November 2016 review and meta-analysis (data on more than a million women): “With an Inter Pregnancy Interval of less than 6 months, the overall risk of further miscarriage and preterm delivery  were significantly reduced.”

These are fundamental principles.

And another principle, not brought up by the CNN or by the study itself, is that a tool for monitoring the early stage of pregnancy for EPL is most desirable. We’d say, mandatory. The Ovulona device monitors (or tracks the process of) folliculogenesis in vivo, which includes the follicular waves that occur after ovulation. The waves disappear upon conception because the reproductive system does not go into another menstrual cycle – it’s pregnant.

In case of EPL, Early Pregnancy Loss (miscarriage), the waves will come back. Early Pregnancy Loss, or Early Embryonic Mortality, is quite a common sad experience of many of us.

The essential point made here is that the woman’s and her physician’s decisions should be guided by the folliculogenesis cyclic profile (and/or its distortion due to distress of any kind). The woman and her doctor should not make decisions or pass recommendations working in the dark, and the data, on which any decision should be based, must be personal to the given patient.

That’s what the Ovulona from bioZhena is for. Personalized medicine. Evidence based medicine. Should you be new to this, https://biozhena.wordpress.com/about/ is an introduction.

Automatic pregnancy detection is inherent  in the Folliculogenesis In Vivo™ cyclic profile

Automatic pregnancy detection is inherent in the Folliculogenesis In Vivo™ cyclic profile (follicular waves disappear).

This is a screen shot of one of my narrated slides about “what’s going on here”, and you can view (and hear) the slide at https://biozhena.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/single-slide-unprecedented-wealth-of-info-narrated.pps.

Note specifically that: The follicular waves, which occur after ovulation [when the body prepares for the next menstrual cycle], cannot remain in place after fertilization succeeds and conception takes place [because the post-ovulation regime change is even more profound]. That is the principle of instant detection of pregnancy. As opposed to the waiting for the HPT [Home Pregnancy Test] result.

HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin laboratory signature

HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin laboratory signature of the biomarker – detected in a pregnant woman’s urine about 2 weeks into her pregnancy by a HPT home-use urine test – as a color change (into which color the HPT reduces the illustrated complex lab signature)

Should the conceptus [product of conception, early embryo] be lost to EEM, Early Embryonic Mortality (miscarriage), the follicular waves come back to be seen by the Ovulona. That’s the principle of early detection of the miscarriage, and of detecting the return of the non-pregnant condition.

Trying to conceive again should be based on the personal FIV™ [FOLLICULOGENESIS IN VIVO] cyclic profile data generated by the patient, that is, by the woman trying to have a baby. This is a principle of evidence-based medicine. Personalized medicine.

Entre Les Trous De La Memoire by Appia

The Ovulona is intended to help people such as those writing in a forum as follows:

My partner and i started trying for a baby in jan And Concieved in the first month. Unfortunately in march at 8 weeks I had a miscarriage. We have been trying since with no luck. Could something be wrong. Please help this is really getting me down. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/interactive/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=57881&f=5

We got pregnant the first cycle with both my ds and dd. I am most likely moving to cycle #11 with this baby. We did conceive on the second cycle of trying with baby #3 but we miscarried a week later. Nothing since then. I’m not sure why this time is taking so much longer. http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=16029816

Can anyone advise? My daughter has been trying to get pregnant for several years. Her husband is fine. My daughter has now been asked to go for a scan which scared the life out of me (you automatically think something is horribly wrong). Can someone tell me what the scan is about – what sort of scan is it? http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/interactive/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=31528&f=5

The information contained in the folliculogenesis cyclic profile, as illustrated in the slide captured above, is meaningful and can help the healthcare provider to answer questions such as these.

Trying to conceive, #ttc, or the frustration of sub-fertility & infertility

November 9, 2010

Existing approaches to TTC, Trying To Conceive, are not satisfactory – and cannot be, without FOLLICULOGENESIS IN VIVO™

Here is the premise: To #conceive a #pregnancy the couple must absolutely do their #TTC in the woman’s #fertile time, which is a window of 3 days: https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/difficult-conception-tied-to-pregnancy-complications-addressed/ . The unspoken corollary is that advancing age does not help, and neither do things that pollute our life, that is all those various stressors.

Besides which, you need to know not only when your ovulation is approaching but also that it actually occurs. No guessing, no mere assuming that it does, or that it did.

Human ovulation caught on camera by Dr Donnez

Human ovulation caught on camera by Dr Donnez

This photo of the ovulation event is unique, and it clearly cannot be the answer to the necessity of knowing that ovulation occurs in the menstrual cycle of interest to you. Also unique is that the Ovulona™ will do the determination of ovulation for you automatically – in your hands, at your convenience, with no discomfort. It’s one part of the FOLLICULOGENESIS IN VIVO™ simple self-monitoring procedure with the Ovulona™. In doing so, you’ll gather and automatically store in the device data of diagnostic significance to your healthcare providers. Your physician’s decisions should be guided by the folliculogenesis cyclic profile. Yours, too.

Here now, how #ttc people need our Ovulona: Disgusted with peeing on a stick, writes stressed out, frustrated, messed up @socalledttclife: “On to IUI #4 we go” [IUI = Intra Uterine Insemination procedure], http://ow.ly/351yf .

She blogs: “…Progesterone supps suck. No, really, Crinone is now numero uno on my most hated list right there behind peeing on a stick and betas. It totally MESSED with my head this cycle. It made me crampy, it gave me headaches, it delayed my period—ALL of the things that are usually early pregnancy symptoms. Damn you, Crinone!”

This is one example and one reason why a month ago the following tweeting dialog took place: RT @resolveorg What’s the one thing you wished the public knew about #infertility?

bioZhena’s answer = Before #fertility #drugs, try right timing http://to.ly/5dUR . Definitely! Read on.

Quite apart from the fact that even the artificial reproductive procedures such as said IUI have to be performed at the right time in the patient’s cycle to have a chance succeeding. Before undergoing the “heroic procedures” of Artificial Reproductive Technologies [ARTs], explore the normal natural approach, and – naturally – you need a reliable timing tool to know when exactly your 3-day fertile window occurs. Good thing you are still this side of 35, although it would be much better if you were this side of 25. Or 30, at least. But that’s water under the bridge… unfortunately.

Water under the bridge… How many bridges?

Water under the bridge… How many bridges?

Per Google Alert, Today’s #TTC Trying To #Conceive forum has 4 results that are symptomatic of the TTC world – and how that world needs our Ovulona diagnostic tool with essential folliculogenesis data for the physicians:

1. Conceiving in our 20s http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=16007861

2. healthy excersise while TTC – TTC- Trying to conceive Group so im a gymaholic… Before I go to my GP again with yet another silly question, what do you girls think, with your experience and knowledge, about my standard work out ‘plan’ below? Is this too much while TTC? … Thoughts? Please don’t make me not do it 😦

social.kidspot.com.au/topic.php?topic_id=8490

3. First time TTC with clomid and really nervous, any suggestions?? Forum · PCOS Treatments and Conditions · Infertility and Trying to Conceive; First time TTC with clomid and really nervous, any suggestions? …
www.soulcysters.net/showthread.php?t=317229&page=2

4. Pregnancy Forum UK : UK Pregnancy Forum Parenting and Baby forum …
hey all i had a positive opk on fri am but this morning days later had twinges on left hand side which feel like op is it possible that i have only just …
178.19.113.123/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=114228&view…

#PCOS patients should monitor folliculogenesis & the effects of any treatment on it. See http://to.ly/MJU , and for what it is go to http://to.ly/757m , and see how an obgyn physician related to the technology even early on when it was still in a rather crude prototype form: http://to.ly/vG0 .

As we expressed earlier in this blog:

It is advisable – and safer – to go about TTC, Trying To Conceive, without the use of chemicals, especially man-made chemicals, and note that herbal preparations are chemicals too. Monitoring (measuring) the effects of anything you ingest is basically a must, if you do not play “Russian roulette” with yourself, your offspring, your family.

#Obese peri-pubertal girls may have hyperandrogenemia which can be forerunner of #PCOS: http://to.ly/6PrK .

Not all #women with #PCOS have difficulty achieving #pregnancy, but anovulation is a common problem: http://to.ly/5mjs .

#PCOS problems are more about #prevention of diseases due to PCOS = #endometrial #cancer #diabetes #heart disease #strokes: http://to.ly/5mjs . Per @JoshGitalis : Insulin resistance is an underlying biochem. imbalance in not only type 2 #diabetes, but #CVD, #hypertension, #PCOS, and colon/breast cancer.

RT @kevinmd Too many young children are medicated with powerful #drugs http://goo.gl/fb/xXu5q – Too many #women too. Will this ever be seen as abuse?

Durer, Albrecht - The Temptation Of The Idler (or The Dream Of The Doctor)

Durer, Albrecht – The Temptation Of The Idler (or The Dream Of The Doctor)

Difficult #conception is tied to #pregnancy complications: http://to.ly/4Fih #fertility #TTC #conceive #womenshealth . Read also: http://to.ly/6ahN .

#Natural vs. #Clomid in Dr. Randine Lewis: From #Infertility to Motherhood, http://to.ly/60v6 . Wrote the #medical doctor:

“I was experiencing hormonal problems. My joints ached, I had lower back and knee pain, I had to urinate frequently, I had night sweats, I was experiencing hair loss and my periods were extremely irregular and sometimes nonexistent.

A medical work-up revealed my estrogen and progesterone levels were alarmingly low, resulting in my inability to conceive. The doctor recommended that I take Clomid, a drug designed to hyperstimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce more eggs, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy. This advice seemed wrong to me; what about the underlying problem? Was it not unwise to hyperstimulate my ovaries when the problem obviously resided in my whole hormonal system?”

Now, put that in context with More About Clomid, Serophene, Clomiphene citrate or Clomifene, http://to.ly/5dUr . Why popping pills is not the best.

Is #ovulation enough to #conceive? http://to.ly/4Fih . Not really. You have to satisfy 4 factors, 4 prerequisites:

1. good health,

2. right insemination timing,

3. fertilization works,

4. embryo lives, is not lost to early embryonic mortality.

#Stress can do unwanted things to #women & #menstrual cycles: http://to.ly/yBk . Check this out. Sub-fertility can result.

30% of women or couples cannot get pregnant

Every year past the optimal fertile age of early twenties is making things harder – on would be mom, on baby, on healthcare system, on humankind.

Consequences of conception difficulties should not be taken lightly. See why.

STOP PRESS

And now, for a more explicit and detailed info, go to the 2012 post “The fallacy of ovulation calculators, calendars and circulating-hormone detectors” at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-fallacy-of-ovulation-calculators-calendars-and-circulating-hormone-detectors/

Major studies decades ago revealed variability of menstrual cycles

March 10, 2010

But people are still naïve about the basic cause of the difficulty to achieve pregnancy

Sex education at school, its quality or otherwise, is likely to have much to do with fertility problems later in life. Many women (men, too, of course) can use the  keyboard with all their fingers (as well as their thumbs!) but have poor understanding of the basic functioning of their reproductive system.

colonial classroom

colonial-classroom.jpg

That ignorance is well known, and is underlying the fertility problems. You should see the pregnancy doctors’ tweets – replying to some incredible questions, and then the talk of various mysteries!

A shining example is this tale of “mysterious conception”. For the whole story see the Alphabet of bioZhena under M, “Mysterious conceptions (OR THE NONEXISTENCE THEREOF)” on page 34 or thereabout, from which I cite:

QUOTE:  It appears that we must dwell on this topic, because of stories and notions propagated in various pertinent circles. This writing has been prompted by page 176 in the excellent 1999 book “Woman” by Nathalie Angier, where the Pulitzer laureate relates the story of the mysterious conception of her only child. Mysterious, because it occurred, she believes and makes her readers believe, outside of ovulation and of the fertile window.

The reason for this entry in the Alphabet of bioZhena is that there is NO SUCH THING AS MYSTERIOUS CONCEPTIONS, there is only lack of information, or ignorance of the facts. We might say, intellectual misconceptions lead to “mysteries” in terms of conception, of babies conceived supposedly when conception was biologically impossible, and vice versa, some women have difficulties conceiving for the same fundamental reason. We shall use Ms. Angier’s case to make this point. UNQUOTE.

To drive the point home, here is an excerpt from John J. McCarthy, Jr. and H.E. Rockette, “Prediction of ovulation with basal body temperature”, Journal of Reproductive Medicine, Volume 31 (No.8), Supplement, 742 – 747, 1986.

Referencing particularly large studies from 1967 and 1977, these BBT experts had this to say all those years ago (and never mind their “prediction” in the cited title whereas the BBT is well known to be no predictor):

QUOTE:  Cycle regularity is often assumed by both women and their physicians. The suggestion, that the BBT graph of the previous cycle can be used to identify the day of ovulation in the current cycle, requires nearly absolute cycle regularity. [However, note this:] The data collected by 1,085 women, who provided at least 6 or more charts each, were studied for cycle length variability. … The cycle length range was more than five days for 56% of the women who submitted 6 graphs, and for 75% of those with 12 graphs. … Absolute regularity was not demonstrated in as few as six cycles. Even when the cycle length that deviated the most was eliminated, less than 1% (8 of 1,085 women) had no variation in cycle length. When the number of cycles was extended to 12, no woman had variability of less than two days in cycle length. END OF QUOTE.

In real life, you realize, no cycle can be eliminated from the experience, and every day matters. Two days are very likely to make the difference between conception and the lack of it. And/or cause an unwanted pregnancy, for that matter.

middendorf_on_the_ball.jpg

Middendorf  – On the ball

The above findings are therefore the basis on which we can say quite categorically that nobody is as regular as a metronome (and nobody conceives in an anovulatory cycle), that there is no such thing as absolute regularity, whether 28 days or otherwise.

If you are in the sub-fertile category of people finding it difficult to become pregnant, you are likely to have cycle variability of more than 5 days over those months of your fruitless efforts that define your category. More likely than being one of the 0.74% of the population with no variation in cycle length, which under ideal conditions may also mean no variation in the time of ovulation. Persistent monitoring is well advised.

Why people cannot achieve pregnancy

March 6, 2010

In many cases – if not most – it is NOT because of clinical infertility.

Basic cause of “apparent” infertility

This article is about the basic cause of most disappointed efforts at achieving pregnancy. The basic cause of the disappointment is that intercourse is had at a wrong time. That is, not during the kairos time of your menstrual cycle, the right time, during which – and only during which – fertilization can occur and result in conception (that may lead to successful pregnancy).

Note that we are not talking here about the relatively few cases of real clinical infertility that are caused by certain organic problems such as, say, blocked fallopian tubes or similar.

We are referring here to what is termed by experts (medically classified) as reduced fertility or sub-fertility. This refers to the predicament of people who cannot achieve pregnancy for too long. We would say that even this terminology is misleading but it is well established in OBGYN medicine, so let’s work with it.

Of course, “cannot achieve pregnancy for too long” is medically expressed more quantitatively by postulating the number of months during which the attempts to conceive a baby turn out to be fruitless, disappointing. (Do we need to add that, as a consequence, what is supposed to be a significant physio-pleasure then often becomes a chore, with the stress only exacerbating the painful disappointment and the actual problem?) Yes, stress enhances the problem.

30% of women or couples cannot conceive when desired

For many years, the number of months during which unprotected intercourse does not result in pregnancy (and is classified as sub-fertility/reduced fertility) was defined as up to 12 months. For 12 months of fruitless attempts to get pregnant you were sub-fertile, suffering reduced fertility. Only after a year, you became a case of clinical infertility.

More recently, as the prevalence of these problems increases, some medical authorities have extended this period of “advised patience” to as long as 2 years. Only after this extended period of advised patience in trying to conceive would the woman and/or couple be put into the clinically infertile category.

The basic cause of most failed efforts to become pregnant is simply wrong timing, wrong time within the menstrual cycle when the unprotected intercourse occurs with the intent to conceive a baby. This wrong time has much to do to with the continued belief, carried over from earlier times, that most menstrual cycles are “regular”. This is one of the myths. The exact opposite is true.

In fact, there is no such thing as cycle regularity. It is therefore essential to perform persistent monitoring, as the phrase goes nowadays, to determine the right time for a conceptive intercourse.

It was found decades ago that most women experience changes of even more than five days in the length of the menstrual cycle, and therefore also changes in the day of ovulation. This fact of life is basic to the predicament of finding it difficult to achieve pregnancy.

Fact:

Less than 1% of women would be found with no variation at all, even for short sequences of only a few menstrual cycles, and absolutely no-one would be regular in more than about five cycles. [Ref.: John J. McCarthy, Jr. and H.E. Rockette, “Prediction of ovulation with basal body temperature”, Journal of Reproductive Medicine 31 (No.8), Supplement, 742 – 747, 1986; also – and particularly – see refs. therein to the largest studies, i.e., to R.F. Vollman, “The menstrual cycle”, 1977, and A.E. Troelar et al., “Variation of the human menstrual cycle through reproductive life”, 1967.]

The research involved thousands of BBT [Basal Body Temperature] records obtained from correspondingly high number of women. The research was carried out when the hope was that the then new technology of the micro-computerized thermometer would provide the answer to the quest for a definitive tool for reproductive management. Well, it did not.

The BBT is not the answer, it cannot be. It’s not the solution because it is notoriously unreliable, whether micro-computerized or measured with an ordinary thermometer. Simply put, the BBT is affected by too many things, and it has been found to rise anywhere from 3 days before to 3 days after ovulation, despite the expected rise immediately after ovulation.

Comment:

The sympto-thermal method of NFP practice, also known as the Billings method, gets around the notorious lack of reliability of the BBT by having women perform certain anatomical observations “down there” and observations of the appearance of the fluid wiped off “down there”. Subjective as this enhancement is, in a review of a sufficient number of cycle records you would see that it is more likely the sympto- observations than the thermal measurements that, when lucky enough, are associated with recorded pregnancy-test positive. Basically, any of this helps the woman to stay focused, and the lack of accuracy is made up for by an as high frequency of intercourse as practical or desirable. Like shooting in the dark with an automatic weapon… (but then, if there is no target in the dark…)

I got off on this tangent, and should come back to the inherent variability of menstrual cycles and ovulation times in another post. To impress on you that this basic fact of life is particularly important when you are finding it difficult to get pregnant – probably because you are past the most fertile years, which are – or, rather, were – the early twenties of your life.

About the Added Bonus of Folliculogenesis Monitoring – Automatic Pregnancy Detection

January 10, 2010

.

It will really be advisable for women to use the Ovulona™ personal fertility monitor as advocated. Whether pregnancy is hoped for or pregnancy-avoidance is the purpose, diligent routine use of the Ovulona will bring benefits.

What benefits? Not only the correct scientific reckoning of the expected period of gestation (usually spoken of as the EDD or EDC) but also the subject of this article: The automatic immediate detection of pregnancy, which is built into the bioZhena process of menstrual cycle (folliculogenesis) monitoring.

See and hear about this in the narrated slide at https://biozhena.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/single-slide-narrated-best-wealth-of-info-in-menstrual-cycle-profile-signature.pps . Here is an image of the slide:

wealth-of-information-inherent-in-cyclic-profile-signature

We expect that the personal cervix monitoring will be continued after conception has been detected – whether planned or unplanned – for the reason of watching out for or guarding against the possibility of early pregnancy loss (EPL).

Immediate detection

The detection of EPL is based on the understanding of the post-ovulation part of the menstrual cyclic profile signature. In the event of an EPL, the menstrual cyclic profile (which cannot physiologically continue after conception and/or implantation occurs) is logically expected to come back, alerting the woman to try getting pregnant again as soon as possible. This urgency is to reduce the probability of recurring spontaneous abortion as documented in medical literature.

As a 2010 study concluded: Women who conceive within six months of an initial miscarriage have the best reproductive outcomes and lowest complication rates in a subsequent pregnancy. You can read a CNN article about the British Medical Journal published study at http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/05/miscarriage.try.again.asap/ . We cite the original BMJ publication at the very end of this post.

“Ask Medical Doctor” [http://www.askmedicaldoctor.com ] is a web site that provides numerous examples where it follows that our Ovulona™ personal fertility device will be just what the customer needs. And her OBGYN, too.

As an example, here is a posted question (courtesy of @pregnancydoc tweet) [http://www.askmedicaldoctor.com/medical/doctor/index.php?xq=63935 ]:

“I quit the nuva ring at the end of november, and had a short cycle. I was only on it for a month. My husband an I are trying to conceive. Last week I had a blood pregnancy test, which was negative. As well as the week before. Now I’m almost a week late. I’ve also experienced a little bit of breast tenderness, stomach tenderness, and lower back pain. what’s up?”

Answer by Dr.Bhumika Aggarwal on Fri 08, Jan 2010 10:33pm:

“Hi, Yes you could be pregnant. The only way to know the confirmed cause is a clinical examination by an OBG specialist and if required an ultrasound examination. You could take a urine pregnancy test at home – that would only help a week after you have missed your periods. You should get a blood test for beta HCG levels which would confirm or rule out a pregnancy. This is confirmatory for pregnancy in cases where the urine pregnancy test kit is not helpful. It would be best to consult your doctor without any delay. Regards.”

Commenting on the Ovulona advantage

The above case is not unusual, including the fact that, after quitting hormonal contraception, the menstrual cycle(s) will tend to be short, out of whack. More to the point, however, is that, with the routinely used Ovulona, pregnancy will be detected immediately, by the disappearance of the follicular waves normally appearing in the luteal phase of the cycle [the days after ovulation], whether the cycle is short, long or what have you.

Where the physician talks about the urine and blood pregnancy testing is where it gets interesting. When Dr. B. A. writes, “that would only help a week after you have missed your periods”, with the Ovulona the detection will be immediate and, importantly, the Ovulona will make it possible to monitor the progress of the pregnancy. Where the doctor writes, “You should get a blood test”, that will no longer be the only option for the woman in the early days of uncertainty about her pregnancy status, or in the subsequent early stage of pregnancy.

The point is this: The hCG level in the blood shows the presence of the conceptus, and the immediate disappearance of the follicular waves is expected to show the presence of the conceptus before the hCG test can. The reason is that the hCG test requires a certain minimal level of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) to be reached, and then the blood concentration peaks on the analytical instrument’s readout that the service lab will use.

This is how the pregnancy shows in the lab test for hCG:

Conceptus signature - small

Conceptus signature – small

Figure from Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 96 (6): 2678–81 (March 1999)

http://www.pnas.org/content/96/6/2678.figures-only or http://to.ly/OYI

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_chorionic_gonadotropin, or http://www.webmd.com/baby/human-chorionic-gonadotropin-hcg .

“Once the fertilized egg implants, the developing placenta begins releasing hCG into your blood.” “hCG appears in the blood and urine of pregnant women as early as 10 days after conception” [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003510.htm ].

“In non-pregnant women, hCG levels are normally undetectable. During early pregnancy, the placenta produces hCG and its level in the blood doubles every two to four days” [http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/TipsandArticlesonDeviceSafety/ucm109390.htm ].

Nothing is perfect, and “hCG kits can detect a wide and varying range of different hCG-related molecules in serum or urine samples” rather than just the one molecule they want to detect [http://www.hcglab.com/index.html ].

“The primary role of hCG in the maternal organism is to serve as a signal to the ovary to maintain the corpus luteum, which would regress if it were not rescued by hCG. … It appears that exponentially increasing amounts of hCG are required to prolong the functional lifespan of the corpus luteum, which explains why the corpus luteum survives early pregnancy but regresses during unfertilized menstrual cycles…” [Parry, S, Glob. libr. women’s med., (ISSN: 1756-2228) 2008 http://to.ly/P0z ]. Corpus luteum (yellow body) is defined as a yellow, progesterone-secreting, mass of cells that forms from an ovarian follicle after the release of a mature egg (i.e., ovulation), http://to.ly/P0B . It is what becomes of the follicle after ovulation.

How it works

Against that background, we bring up the following expected effect of conception on the folliculogenesis profile as it is tracked by the Ovulona and used by the woman at home. The data accumulated in the memory of the device will be available for use by her physician and the healthcare system.

Précis: When conception occurs, the normal folliculogenesis process changes due to the developing pregnancy (i.e., due to the conceptus). Conception can only occur upon ovulation, and when it does then the change happens – immediately. The follicular waves that normally occur after ovulation can no longer appear.

Upon conception, the maternal menstrual cycling is overruled, taken over, by the conceptus and the placenta. Conceptus is defined as the product of conception at any point between fertilization and birth. It includes the embryo or the fetus as well as the extra-embryonic membranes [http://to.ly/P0t , conceptus is from Latin, something conceived; see concept].

The disappearance of the follicular waves will be immediate, and easily detectable. Importantly, as with the monitoring of folliculogenesis for the purpose of either achieving or avoiding pregnancy, it will be presented to the woman at home in plain English as “pregnancy detected” on the display of her Ovulona device.

A very important (and unprecedented) additional advantage of our technique is that any loss of the pregnancy will also be detected in the process of continued routine monitoring during the pregnancy. This is advisable because many conceptions end in natural loss, i.e., the early death of the conceptus. E. g., “absence of TLX antigen recognition due to sharing of maternal-paternal TLX antigen profiles may not allow anti-TA1 activity and may lead to subsequent fetal rejection”, http://www.profelis.org/webpages-cn/lectures/reproductive_physiology_2.html (http://to.ly/P1S ).

Seriousness of the EPL problem

Between one quarter and one third of pregnancies may fail hours or days after implantation [  http://www.hcglab.com/hyperglycosylated.htm , citing Prenat. Diagn. 1998;18:1232–40 and J. Endocrinol. 2002; 172: 497-506]. But see also Further References, below, where the incidence is put at 75%+ of all attempts to conceive – the most common complication of human gestation.

In view of the fact that “treatment of women who present with cramping and spotting in the first trimester of pregnancy would be better guided by a sensitive and specific test that would reliably categorize prognoses for pregnancies”, it is worthwhile to speculate as follows. Since “progesterone appeared to be the single most specific biomarker for distinguishing viable from nonviable pregnancies” [Obst. Gynecol. 2000, Vol. 95, Issue 2, pp. 227-231, http://to.ly/P39 ], and in view of our sensor’s mode of operation (and the expected response to conception), we might even speculate that differentiating between viable and non-viable pregnancies might be attempted with our technique, too.

As throughout the whole text in this article, speculate is the key word.

Further References:

Efficiency and Bias in Studies of Early Pregnancy Loss, Clarice R. Weinberg, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Donna D. Baird and Allen J. Wilcox, Epidemiology, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan., 1992), pp. 17-22, http://to.ly/P3s

Early Pregnancy Loss,  http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/260495-overview Note: Chief Editor is Lee P. Shulman, MD – one of bioZhena Corporation’s Board of Medical Advisors.

Excerpted:

Early pregnancy loss is unfortunately the most common complication of human gestation, occurring in at least 75% of all women trying to conceive. Most of these losses are unrecognized and occur before or with the next expected menses. Of those that are recognized, 15-20% are spontaneous abortions (SABs) or ectopic pregnancies diagnosed after the pregnancy is clinically recognized.

The incidence of spontaneous miscarriage is10-15%, whereas the rate of recurrent miscarriage is 3-5%.

Approximately 5% of couples trying to conceive have 2 consecutive miscarriages, and approximately 1% of couples have 3 or more consecutive losses. Early pregnancy loss is defined as the termination of pregnancy before 20 weeks’ gestation or with a fetal weight of

The gestational age at the time of the SAB can provide clues about the cause. For instance, nearly 70% of SABs in the first 12 weeks are due to chromosomal anomalies. However, losses due to antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and cervical incompetence tend to occur after the first trimester. END QUOTE.

Medline ® Abstracts for References 3-5,7-9 of ‘Spontaneous abortion: Risk factors, etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnostic evaluation’ http://to.ly/P4e

Citing from one abstract on the list: “Preterm death of the human conceptus is common.”

Conclusion of a 2003 paper from China: We demonstrated substantial EPL in the non-clinically pregnant cycles and a positive relation between EPL and subsequent fertility. EPL = Early Pregnancy Loss. The conception rate per cycle was 40% over the first 12 months.

Conclusion of a 2010 British Medical Journal paper from Scotland: Women who conceive within six months of an initial miscarriage have the best reproductive outcomes and lowest complication rates in a subsequent pregnancy.                          

See it at: http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c3967.full?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=Bhattacharya&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=date&resourcetype=HWCIT

Parturition means birthing (birth) and dystocia a difficult one

January 9, 2008

And what is a parturition alarm?

For these and other entries, see the Alphabet of bioZhena at

https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/the-alphabet-of-biozhena/

Parturition alarm:

This is a concept that has to do with the need to know when labor or delivery is beginning, because the birthing female may be in need of help.

At the time of writing the first Alphabet draft more than five years ago, an Internet search produced only one such technology, a pressure-sensing girth, suitable for the horse breeder only, because it utilizes the fact that the horse mare lies on her side only in the process of parturition. To illustrate, we borrow a nice picture from a more recent publication found in today’s search on parturition alarm, which search still shows a preponderance of equine innovations:

Equine birth alarm

In the originally noted publication, reference was made to some other method that would detect the emergence of the amniotic sac or of the foal from the vulva (vaginal orifice) but that was not a satisfactory solution. In the horse-breeding arena, about 5-6% of births require help. Various approaches to the birth alarm solution have been attempted.

These days, there are quite a few patents etc. found in the parturition alarm search. And even 5 years ago, a patent from New Mexico University should have been found because their intra-vaginal parturition alarm patent (basically for cows) was published in 1987.

In human obstetrics, where most births take place in hospitals, determining the right time of confinement would be very beneficial. bioZhena (and/or its sister company, bioPecus) will investigate our vaginal sensor technology – suitably modified – with a view to developing a parturition alarm applicable to any mammal.

Also relevant in this context is the implication of the Ovulona making available the menstrual cycle (folliculogenesis) data over many months or cycles before conception. This will enable a more accurate anticipation of the EDD, Expected Date of Delivery. You will understand this better below, under Parturition. I highly recommend that you check out Figuring Your Due Date, too – from the Midwife Archives.

Let us put it this way: Since this is the bioZhena blog (and not bioPecus, for veterinary tools), the EDD issue must be addressed first, before any parturition alarm developments. Because we are primarily concerned with the Rerum Naturare Feminina.

And it would still be of great interest to hear from an expert Latinist about the correct way of saying this in plural, the Natural Thing of Women, the Women’s Natural Thing…

This being a reference to /2007/12/16/cervix-uteri-and-seven-or-eight-related-things/ .

Parturition:

The process of giving birth; childbirth. [From Late Latin parturitio, from Latin parturitus, past participle of parturire, to be in labor.]

Parturition is illustrated at http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/esp/2001_saladin/folder_structure/re/m2/s5/ .

The illustration’s legend indicates that physicians usually calculate the gestation period (length of the pregnancy) as 280 days: 40 weeks or 10 lunar months from the last menstrual period (LMP) to the date of confinement, which is the estimated date of delivery of the infant [EDD].

Indubitably, due dates are a little-understood concept:

“Truth is, even if you know the exact date when you ovulated, you still can only estimate the baby’s unique gestational cycle to about plus or minus two weeks” [ http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/dueDates.html ]. Why should that be? Because of the variability of your menstrual cycle lengths? (They vary even if you do not think so).

Statistically, the gestation time for human babies has a mean of 278 days and a standard deviation of 12 days, an uncomfortably large spread. The old Naegele Rule of a 40-week pregnancy was invented by a Bible-inspired botanist Harmanni Boerhaave in 1744 and later promoted by Franz Naegele in 1812. It is still believed to work fairly well as a rule of thumb for many pregnancies. However, the rule of thumb also suggests: “If your menstrual cycles are about 28 days, quite regular, and this is not your first child, your physician’s dating is probably fine. If your cycles are longer or irregular, or if this is your first child, the due date your physician has given you may be off, setting you up for all kinds of problems” (induction, interventions, C-section among them).

This is where the bioZhena technology can be expected to provide help, making it possible to reckon the EDD with recorded menstrual cycle (folliculogenesis history) data rather than merely with the LMP + 280 days. This, once properly researched, may be expected to have a significant impact on obstetric management. — Any comments?

It is ironic that, in this age of technological medicine, American women worry about their birthing process not being allowed to take its own natural course on account of an ancient method of predicting the EDD.

Ironically, the 40 week dogma – which is the gestational counterpart of the unacceptable calendar method of birth control (the so-called “Vatican roulette”) – does not reconcile the 295+ days of the 10 lunar months; and yet, at the same time, the U.S. has an unusually high perinatal death rate, resulting from high statistics of too early (preterm) labor. Quid agitur? See also under Gestation.

Dystocia or birthing difficulty:

Dystocia is difficult delivery, difficult parturition. From Latin dys-, bad, from Greek dus-, ill, hard + Greek tokos, delivery. Calf losses at birth result in a major reduction in the net calf crop. Data show that 60% of these losses are due to dystocia (defined as delayed and difficult birth) and at least 50% of these calf deaths could be prevented by timely obstetrical assistance. The USDA web site http://larrl.ars.usda.gov/physiology_history.htm is apparently no longer there but when it was it indicated that an electronic calving monitor was being developed to determine maternal and fetal stress during calving. These studies are important since they are leading the way for developing methods to reduce the $800 million calf and cow loss that occurs each year at calving in the USA’s beef herds.

In analogy with the superiority of in vivo monitoring of folliculogenesis versus tracking behavioral estrus (heat), in vivo monitoring of the progress towards parturition must be a priori a more promising approach.

The telemetric version of the BioMeter – the animal version of the Ovulona technology – will hopefully provide a tool for these efforts. Once tested on animals, human use will be a logical extension of the endeavor. (Or endeavour, should it take place in Europe! Smiley…)

Comment about the EDD and/or EDC issue, and request for input:

Again, EDD stands for Estimated Day of Delivery, while EDC stands for Estimated Day of Confinement.

Per Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence, article Gestation Period and Gestational Age [ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2602/is_0002/ai_2602000272 ], ” a gestation period of thirty-eight weeks (266 days) is calculated for women who are pregnant by a procedure such as in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination that allows them to know their exact date of conception.”

The Ovulona device from bioZhena will provide to the woman user a very simple means to record the day of any intercourse. In every cycle, whether pregnancy is planned or not. This must become a part of the routine. The information will be electronically recorded along with the daily or almost-daily measurement data inherent in the use of the Ovulona. With that menstrual cycling history data, this intercourse-timing information will be available for optional use by the woman’s physician(s).

Therefore, the routine use of the Ovulona will provide for an equivalent of the above-referenced 38-week (266 days) calculation available to the women receiving IVF or artificial insemination.

This alone should be an improvement on the current way of EDD/EDC assessment.

In addition, an investigation should be undertaken into the question of whether any inference can be drawn from the woman’s menstrual cycle history prior to the conceptive intercourse. Any comments on this would be welcome, even about anecdotal or subjective or tentative observations that may be available already. However non-scientific, however tentative, however uncertain an individual answer or input from you may be…

E.g., do women with more or less regular cycles tend to exhibit a regular gestation period, and vice versa?

And, certainly, what evidence is available in medical literature (or maybe in unpublished records?) about the outcomes of the IVF and/or artificial insemination pregnancies, i.e., about their documented gestation periods? Does the 38 weeks projection work? Always? If not always, can anything be correlated with any deviation?

Do women with distinctly irregular menstrual cycles tend to have non-regular gestation periods?

The complicating effect of first versus subsequent pregnancy has already been noted, of course…

Conceivably, there is no such preliminary info available, and we shall have to try and gather even these preliminary data in a systematic manner, but – no question asked, nothing learned… Public or private input would be appreciated.

Birthday, and how it relates to the bioZhena enterprise – eukairosic™ diagnostic tools

December 28, 2007

Today is a major anniversary related to the bioZhena enterprise. Namely, a round-number (and not small) birthday of the offspring whose begetting had much, if not everything, to do with the inception of the project.

The biologically educated member of the would-be parental team insisted that medical help would have to be the very last resort, as she did not wish to be poked in and subjected to the various medical procedures available in the country of the proud Albion (that, alas, no longer ruled the waves!), where this awakening was going on. The image of what she resented getting into is telling, and it’s not even the whole story.

Woman in stirups sketch

Awakening on the part of said couple, who till then took steps to minimize or theoretically avoid getting in the family way, owing to circumstances. As in too many instances the world over, the “awakening” was left until somewhat too late. I do not wish to talk about age specifics, but you probably know that particularly female fertility (more accurately put, fecundity or fecundability) decreases starting around or even before the Christ’s age, and so – in retrospect – it was no great surprise to find that achieving pregnancy was not as simple as expected. At the time, actually, this was a great surprise…

At the time, yours truly was not an expert in the field that deals with certain practicalities of the most important aspect of life, by which many of us mean procreation, reproduction, and its management. I am referring to some insight into the practicalities on the female side of things procreative, which insight was not there at the time – but the better half knew the basic fundamental that I now delight in referencing as eukairosic.

In a nutshell, the word refers to the right time, opportune time – exactly what we are about the strategic or “right time; the opportune point of time at which something should be done.” A window of opportunity is kairos time.

For more about this, the Wikipedia article can be recommended, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kairos . Let’s cite: Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the “right or opportune moment,” or “God’s time” [sic; thus said – but this should say “gods’ time”]. The ancient Greeks had many gods, and two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies “a time in between”, a moment of undetermined period of time in which “something” special happens. What the special something is depends on who is using the word. END QUOTE.

If you visit that article, you will probably understand why I would like to look at the possibility of adopting as our company logo QUOTE a monochrome fresco by Mantegna at Palazzo Ducale in Mantua (about 1510 C.E.) that shows a female Kairos (most probably Occasio)… UNQUOTE.

You will also appreciate that, since we are not theologians, and because “eu-“ is the Greek prefix meaning well or good or true or easy, my choice of the adjective that we want to trademark as descriptive of bioZhena’s wares is eukairosic™.

And so here, for the sake of accurate definition, is one other item from The Alphabet of bioZhena – /2007/11/28/the-alphabet-of-biozhena/

Fecundability and fecundity:

Fecundability is the probability of achieving pregnancy within one menstrual cycle – about 20% or maybe 25% in normal couples [sic; the probability depends on many factors, including age – vide infra, or see below].

Fecundity is the ability to achieve a live birth.

Fecundability is strongly influenced by the age of the partners, and it is maximal at about age 24. There is a slight decline at ages 24 – 30, and a rapid decline after age 30.

The words are derived from Latin fecundus, fecund, from the root of fetus, via Old French fecond. Fecund means fruitful in children, or prolific.

As for the eukairosic diagnostic tools, their utility goes beyond reproductive management. Due to folliculogenesis (menstrual cycling), even things such as administration of medications or certain diagnostic examinations must be performed at the right time within the menstrual cycle…

Scire quod sciendum

fecundoscitus!!! 🙂

Thus spoke the exegete and father of Barnaby and Petrushka, Vaclav Kirsner © 2007

 ‘To know what is to be known’.


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