Posts Tagged ‘difficult to conceive’

Smoking affects the menstrual cyclic profile as captured by the Ovulona™, monitoring might help with smoking-cessation

February 21, 2012

80 percent of the 201,773 women who die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses each year began smoking while they were adolescents. Evidence shows that those young people, who begin to use tobacco, do not understand the nature of the addiction. They believe they will be able to avoid the harmful consequences of tobacco use. They don’t know that “some researchers feel nicotine is as addictive as heroin. In fact, nicotine has actions similar to heroin and cocaine, and the chemical affects the same area of the brain.”

As someone has written, when most girls begin smoking, they are usually caught up in the immediate experience of what appears to be a “cool”, “adult”, or even “glamorous” behavior. They are naive about the powerful addictive nature of nicotine, which, for some adolescents, takes hold after only a few cigarettes.  Among those who had tried to quit smoking, 82 percent were unable to do so.

The tobacco industry spends vast sums of money on persuading people to take up or continue smoking. In its own words, the industry is “a monster which has to be fed”. The industry sees women as a territory to be conquered, and a large portion of the total marketing expenditure is aimed in their direction.

Women appear to be more susceptible to the addictive properties of nicotine and have a slower metabolic clearance of nicotine from their bodies than do men. Women also appear to be more susceptible to the effects of tobacco carcinogens than men, including higher rates of lung cancer.

Girls and women are significantly more likely than boys and men to feel dependent on cigarettes, and more likely to report being unable to cut down on smoking. While various smoking-cessation treatments and strategies appear to work similarly for both sexes, women may face different stressors and barriers to quitting smoking, such as greater likelihood of depression, weight control concerns, and child-care and family issues.

It is estimated that about 30% of deaths from cervical cancer are caused by smoking. Smoking and taking the Pill in combination can increase the risk of heart disease by up to ten times.

Jiří Anderle, Láska za lásku / Love for Love

Jiří Anderle, Láska za lásku / Love for Love lept, pastel / etching, pastel, 1996, opus 535, 13 x 17 cm 7.400,- Kč / CZK

Smoking is damaging to women’s reproductive health. It is associated with infertility, complications during pregnancy, and an earlier onset of menopause.

The estimated 20 percent of pregnant women who smoke during their pregnancies subject themselves and their fetuses and newborns to significant health risks, including miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term delivery, low birth weight infants, and higher rates of infant mortality.

Smoking while pregnant has serious effects on the health of the baby. Untold adverse consequences affect the lives of those children and the people around them. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk by 50 percent of having a child with mental retardation; this increased risk rises up to 85 percent among those who smoke a pack or more of cigarettes each day. The risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) increases among infants who are exposed to intra-uterine smoke and to second-hand smoke after pregnancy.

The younger an adolescent is when she begins to smoke, the more severe her nicotine addiction is likely to be. Additional health effects of smoking are: respiratory problems (and decreased physical fitness), dental problems (including periodontal degeneration), coronary artery disease, mental health effects (including nervousness, depression, more high-risk behavior, etc.), health-damaging behaviors, and other negative effects on quality of life (bad breath, wrinkled skin, stained teeth, and other negative effects that influence how she looks and feels).

We have preliminary evidence on how the smoker’s lifestyle affects the FIV™ menstrual cyclic profile captured by the Ovulona™.

Non-baseline profiles flanking baseline subject's AM&PM profile

Baseline cyclic profile of a healthy 30-years old non-smoker woman (who, as a baseline subject, is not taking any medication or contraception) shown here between two cyclic profiles of a smoking mother. The baseline profile was taken twice a day, morning and evening, and the AM and PM records show not only the reproducibility but also how the post-ovulation follicular waves develop between the morning and evening hours. The smoker’s consecutive profiles are similar to the baseline but exhibit significant differences. Cycle 4 record captured a delayed ovulation and short luteal phase. Cycle 5 shows also a short luteal phase, an abnormality (the luteal phase should be about 14 days long, give or take a day or two).

Image file URL: https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/smoking-affects-the-menstrual-cyclic-profile-as-captured-by-the-ovulona-which-might-help-with-smoking-cessation/non-baseline-profiles-flanking-baseline-subjects-ampm-profile-t/

We can imagine that a young woman trying to quit smoking may be helped in her effort by the Ovulona device. The Ovulona could be prospectively proffered for that purpose as a kind of biofeedback tool.

It is envisaged that tobacco interference with the fertility cycle will be recognized and accepted as a powerful motivator in the hard battle with the extremely strong addiction. “Is appearing ‘cool’ worth the resulting difficulty in getting pregnant, having a healthy baby?”

With public health education, the healthcare providers will be able to use the FIV cyclic profiles of the addicted patients to point out the affected features, and to monitor effects of treatment. “We really want to see this part of your cyclic profile to look more like this…”

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The fallacy of ovulation calculators, calendars and circulating-hormone detectors

February 13, 2012

Don’t let them lead you by the nose with likely this and probable that! You need to know for sure.

When it comes to the crucial timing of ovulation, it is astonishing to see the fallacies and delusions propagated on the web – and that this includes even certain generally respected mainstream sources. How they declare, for example: If you’re trying to get pregnant, use this tool to find out when you likely ovulate and are most fertile.

Never mind that “most fertile” makes absolutely no sense because there is no such thing as a little fertile, more fertile and most fertile!

Ladies (and teenage young ladies included!), you either are fertile today or you are not: You either can conceive today or not.

It is either or.

You either are fertile today or you are not. It is not a little bit fertile, or more fertile, or most fertile. Like, you cannot be a little bit pregnant… you either are, or you are not.

Besides which, if you want to conceive a pregnancy, you must know with certainty that ovulation happens when you try to conceive – not merely that it is likely to happen. Unless you are reproductively ill or menopausal, it is always likely to happen at some point but the mere likelihood is not very helpful. Conception absolutely requires ovulation so that the released (ovulated) egg has a chance to be fertilized.

You must have a way of detecting ovulation at home and, based on that instrumentally recorded information, we will also help you with the Expected Date of Delivery (EDD), because that is how it works. Not the LMP (Last Menstrual Period) but the date of the conceptive ovulation — that’s the ovulation with which you became pregnant because your ovulated egg became fertilized. The date of ovulation is the date from which the EDD must be computed.

Ovulation caught on camera

Ovulation caught on camera by Dr. Donnez – impressive but not a practical method of detecting ovulation

Fast forward to the principle that’s behind the take-home message of this post and that’s systematically arrived at by the end of this post:

Briefly: Tracking systemic effects (hormones in circulation) is not good enough for fertility status determination, especially if the purpose is pregnancy avoidance.

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To be blunt about the language of “likely ovulate” and “most fertile”: Such language simply reflects their inability to be definitive about it – and they therefore resort to guesstimating ovulation, calling it a calculation.

Numerous websites proffer their ovulation calculators when you search online for “ovulation”. A free, printable ovulation calendar and ovulation calculator to help you…, ovulation calculator can help you find the best time to conceive (as if there was some worse time when to conceive!), a calculator to generate your ovulation calendar and determine the best time…, our free Ovulation Calendar helps you predict your most fertile time of the month (ovulation) so that you can achieve pregnancy. Etc.

Notably and significantly, they do NOT promote this for natural (behavioral) pregnancy avoidance (birth control) but only as a tool for assisting conception – as if these were not the two sides of the same coin. They do not because they would get into trouble if they did.

A common approach relies on detecting, in a woman’s urine, the luteinizing hormone (LH) that typically surges on the ovulation day. The LH surge (sharp narrow peak in LH concentration) occurs a few hours before ovulation. Because that is really too late for anticipating ovulation, a related but more sophisticated fertility monitor additionally detects also a metabolite of estrogen, i.e., another hormone, which anticipates the LH surge by about a day.

The worst flaw of systemic hormone monitoring

Fundamentally the most serious detriment is the fact that ovulation as such is not detected by said fertility device or any other such available in the marketplace. Ovulation is merely assumed to occur some hours after the LH surge – but the surge of the LH hormone is merely a trigger signal sent by the brain to the ovary. It says, “ovary, let go of the ovum in our dominant follicle”, but it does not say that the ovary in fact did (or does).

This is a fundamental flaw because ovulation is known to fail to occur in approximately 20% of the follicles. Those follicles, triggered by the LH, undergo the cyclic event of follicle rupture but, despite the rupture, the egg does not come out – there is no ovulation.

Human ovulation caught on camera

In 20% of LH-triggered cases, the egg is not released so ovulation, as photographed here by Dr. Donnez, does not occur

Ovulation also fails to occur with another type of follicles, the so-called luteinized unruptured follicles. Yet, the LH surge can be seen in either case, and is therefore a false indicator.

Furthermore, when stress causes a delay or absence of ovulation despite the LH surge signal (signal from the brain to the ovary), this cannot be detected and handled by the urinary hormone-based approach. As you can imagine, with our stressful lifestyle and environment, this is a very serious flaw that results in many disappointments.

George Condo - Field of Figures

George Condo – Field of Figures sold for $450,000 at Skarstedt Gallery’s booth Published: June 14, 2011

Since, unlike our Ovulona™ Smart Sensor™ technology, their method depends on biochemical reagents and since the supply of the reagents is limited, their product’s user has to estimate on which day of her menstrual cycle she should start using the hormone-monitoring device when peeing into a cup. She does the estimating based on her previous menstrual cycle(s) as though the length and the timing of the present menstrual cycle were the same as in her previous cycle(s). Alas, that’s not so. Because of the variable lengths of successive cycles in most women, this is a weak feature in their design (even though they are getting away with it).

A key practical problem of the referenced 2-hormone device (the Clearblue® Fertility Monitor) is that the monitored urinary concentration of the estrogen metabolite E3G peaks only about 12 to 24 hours prior to the LH surge. This is not early enough to serve as a marker of the beginning of the fertile phase.

Fertile day 1 not identified

Their research or marketing literature may claim that “a sustained rise in E3G can be used to identify the start of the fertile phase”, referring to the slow gradual increase that eventually becomes the peak of E3G concentration. However, the idea to use an ill-defined rise – rather than the peak in the cyclic profile of the estrogen metabolite – is not a viable solution to the fertile window problem.

Even if the ill-defined E3G rise in the urine were correlated with a clearly defined stage of the egg development towards ovulation, a serious problem is that the rate of the E3G rise differs from cycle to cycle, as do the blood concentrations of E3G. The initially slow increase of the E3G concentration in the urine proceeds at different rates in different cycles, not only at different rates in different women. The E3G rise cannot be predictably associated with the beginning of the fertile period, and it cannot serve as a marker.

Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonad Feedback Loop

Schematic diagram of interaction between the LH and FSH hormone-generating glands in the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary) and those of the ovary (female gonad) generating estrogen and progesterone

The reasons are as follows:

1. Estrogen is known to have both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on LH secretion and, to be effective as a stimulant, it must rise to its peak levels (> 150 to 200 pg/ml) and must remain elevated for at least 36 hours [J. Hotchkiss and E. Knobil in E.Y. Adashi, J.A. Rock and Z. Rosenwaks, editors: Reproductive Endocrinology, Surgery and Technology, Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1996].

In fact, the E3G rise indicates something else:

2. The E3G profile does not reflect the local interplay of estrogen with progesterone because it only reflects clearance of one of at least 10 metabolites of estrogen from peripheral blood circulation into the urine, after oxidative conversion in the liver.

Whatever the rate of this clearance process in the given woman in the given menstrual cycle, there are “local mechanisms due to which the quantification of ovarian steroids in peripheral blood or in urine is rendered interesting but of little value in predicting the genital end-organ effect” [C.J. Verco, in A.M. Siegler, editor: The Fallopian Tube. Basic Studies and Clinical Contributions, Futura Publishing Company, 1986].

The decades old problem is fundamental

This makes for the same basic flaw as that suffered by other monitors of peripheral hormones whether the hormone be progesterone (BBT monitoring) or estrogen (conductivity of saliva or of vaginal fluids).

Thus, the 2-hormone approach is in the end as inaccurate as the other LH-detecting techniques (the OPKs, Ovulation Predictor Kits). Therefore, like the other hormone monitoring methods, it cannot be approved and proffered for pregnancy avoidance since the failure rate would be unacceptably high. In fact, a law suit ensued in England, when the original developer company did sell the LH-and-estrogen monitor as a “contraceptive system”, and a number of unintended pregnancies resulted to the users.

The fundamental point is this: The effects of the local and acute regulatory mechanisms (as referenced under 2 above) remain undetected by the old techniques that work with the peripheral biomarker variables.

Ovarian vein-to-artery exchange of steroids, prostaglandins and other bioactive substances is a local transfer mechanism which enables local regulation of ovarian, tubal and uterine functions. The local, as opposed to peripheral, blood concentrations of the steroid hormones are also believed to work with the innervation of the female genital tract (the cervix in particular).

The effects of these local and acute regulatory mechanisms remain undetected by the old so-called prior art techniques that work with peripheral biomarker variables. In contrast, our Ovulona™ detects them – via the cervix, the natural monitor of the female reproductive system.

Gustav Klimt - Medicine mural (complete view)

Gustav Klimt – Medicine mural – Klimt’s primary subject was the female body

The flawed assumption of similar timing of menstrual cyclic events from one cycle to another has been a problem for the BBT and the BBT thermometers. Since the late sixties, the microprocessor technology has been applied by a number of people to the well-tried basal body temperature [BBT] approach to family planning that was originally hoped to work for pregnancy avoidance.

Smart phone apps with the BBT?

The BBT approach is no longer recognized as medically valid even if it may be acceptable to some of the older physicians, and to the younger buyers of an expensive microcomputerized BBT monitor offered from Europe and/or to the users of one of the more recent smart phone apps based on BBT monitoring.

This is because the so-called basal body temperature is a systemic variable that reflects, among other things, progesterone rise in peripheral blood after ovulation, usually one or two days later.  It is a very indirect and non-specific biomarker. Even though in some women in some cycles a little-understood dip in the temperature graph may apparently be observed one day before the temperature rise, it is clear that the BBT method is of little value due to its lack of predictive capability and due to its fundamental unreliability. The BBT-rise data is known to have a large error bar since the rise can occur from 3 days before to 3 days after ovulation.

For a more detailed critique of the BBT monitoring approach and a rebuttal of a particular European product, peruse Critique of BBT monitoring – DuoFertility rebuttal. Also read a note on 3 things that differentiate our technique from the smartphone apps and particularly the most recent, Natural Cycles .

Briefly: Tracking systemic effects (hormones in circulation) is not good enough for fertility status determination, especially if the purpose is pregnancy avoidance.

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Purveyors of the old “prior art” technologies get away with it because of the high demand for any help with the serious and growing problem of sub-fertility, more commonly called trying-to-conceive or difficult getting pregnant. When the purveyors publish anecdotal evidence of “efficacy” in the form of thank-you letters from women who did achieve pregnancy, we should keep in mind that the women received help in focusing on trying to hit the fertile period regardless of whether the given technology actually did work or not.

If any of the “prior art” did work reliably, it would be used as a pregnancy-avoidance tool, which is not the case (with the one exception noted above, a reservation included suggesting that only women with self-assessed regular cycles opted to buy the BBT-and-calendar based app with its 11 “unsafe” days offered to the user instead of the true fertile window).

Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time (also called An Allegory of Venus and Cupid and A Triumph of Venus) is an allegorical painting by the Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino. It is now in the National Gallery, London. Artist     Agnolo Bronzino Year     circa 1545 Type     Oil on wood Dimensions     146 cm × 116 cm (57 in × 46 in) Location     National Gallery, London Its meaning, however, remains elusive. Cupid, along with his mother (Venus) and the nude putto, to the right, are all posed in a typical Mannerist figura serpentinata form. The two central figures are easily identified by their attributes as Venus and Cupid. For example, she holds the golden apple she won in the Judgement of Paris, while he sports the characteristic wings and quiver. Both figures are nude, illuminated in a radiant white light. Cupid fondles his mother's bare breast and kisses her lips. The bearded, bald figure to the upper right of the scene is believed to be Time, in view of the hourglass behind him.[2] He sweeps his arm forcefully out to his right. Again, it is difficult to interpret his gesture with any certainty The old woman rending her hair (see detail at right) has been called Jealousy—though some believe her to represent the ravaging effects of syphilis[2] (result of unwise intercourse).

Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time (also called An Allegory of Venus and Cupid and A Triumph of Venus) is an allegorical painting by the Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino – circa 1545.  The bearded bald figure to the upper right is believed to be Time…

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Now go see about “Instant detection of pregnancy and of Early Pregnancy Loss, EPL – the adversary of Trying To Conceive, TTC – especially after age 25″ at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/instant-detection-of-pregnancy-and-of-early-pregnancy-loss-epl-the-adversary-of-trying-to-conceive-ttc-especially-after-age-25/

And should you be an investor and/or wish to find out more, check out  Home Page of bioZhena’s Weblog

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Cervix uteri and seven or eight related things

February 7, 2012

It seems worthwhile to reblog the December 2007 post about the basics. Including “why the bioZhena technology had to be invented. One way of saying this is: The available means, methods or products, were not good enough. Another way of putting this is to quote from medical literature…”

And then see how none of the methods determined ovulation with the required accuracy to be useful either as a conception aid or especially for birth control.

3-day fertile window with gender preselection vs. inaccurate old methods

3-day fertile window with gender preselection vs. inaccurate old methods

Here is how our method (monitoring folliculogenesis in vivo) does it by generating the multi-featured cyclic profile that includes the definitive ovulation marker after the predictive signals, and here is how this compares with the older techniques. See how inaccurate is the ovulation assessment by the older means available to the users of NFP or FAM.

For more about the data in the above illustration, go see another old bioZhena post, “Regarding fetal sex preselection”, at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/regarding-fetal-sex-preselection/ .

bioZhena's Weblog

For these and other terms, see the Alphabet of bioZhena at /2007/11/28/the-alphabet-of-biozhena/

Rerum Naturare Feminina. A Woman’s Natural Thing. In the lingua franca of the ancients.

The reader of this bioZhena’s Weblog article will or should be well aware that a woman’s menstrual cycle lengths are quite variable, as is the timing of her ovulation within those menstrual cycles. For evidence of this variability, see another blog post at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/variability-of-menstrual-cycles-and-of-ovulation-timing/ (opens in new tab/window). Our focus on the cervix uteri is clarified below in this article.

Cervix:

The narrow lower part of the uterus (womb), with an opening that connects the uterus to the vagina. It contains special glands called the crypts that produce mucus, which helps to keep bacteria (and other microbes, including sperm for most of the cycle) out of the uterus and beyond. Sometimes called the neck of the womb, it protrudes into the vagina. The region…

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Stress and fertility: How stress affects the inherently narrow fertile window

February 2, 2012

This blog post appears as the third result in Google search on “bioZhena” (without the quote marks). The complete title is:

Stress and fertility

How stress affects the inherently narrow fertile window

To read the whole post, click on either of the antique-book images or on Reblogged from bioZhena’s Weblog:

Before you go there, here is a little update. New research into stress and fertility was published since I wrote the blog post in December 2007, and here is a summary of an article titled “Stress puts double whammy on reproductive system, fertility” (see http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/06/15/stress.puts.double.whammy.reproductive.system.fertility ).

 

QUOTE: The new research shows that stress also increases brain levels of a reproductive hormone named gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone, or GnIH, discovered nine years ago in birds and known to be present in humans and other mammals. This small protein hormone, a so-called RFamide-related peptide (RFRP), puts the brakes on reproduction by directly inhibiting GnRH.

The common thread appears to be the glucocorticoid stress hormones, which not only suppress GnRH but boost the suppressor GnIH – a double whammy for the reproductive system. END QUOTE

 

Unlike any other fertility monitoring technology, bioZhena’s Ovulona™ is a Smart Sensor™ in vivo monitor of folliculogenesis. Unlike any other fertility monitor, the Ovulona is basically involved with the always-present stress responses – through monitoring certain end-organ effects on folliculogenesis. The other techniques monitor only this or that circulating hormone – not good enough. The end-organ effect(s) is what counts.

 

Again, to read the whole post, click on either of the antique-book images or on Reblogged from bioZhena’s Weblog

 

For a 2012 update go to What is the mechanism of stress and how does it affect reproduction. An update. And: Be a young mother! (Ovulona™-related published scientific findings by others about disruption of fertility, about PCOS or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, how stress suppresses ovulation, about the hypothalamic amenorrhea of stress and postpartum blues/depression, about a CRH placental clock which determines the length of gestation and the timing of parturition and delivery, and the role of CRH in premature labor. How old age affects folliculogenesis as a stressor. Even how acute stress may induce ovulation in women.)

bioZhena's Weblog

How stress affects the inherently narrow fertile window

Stress can do unwanted things to a woman and her menstrual cycle. In a nutshell, stress can make a woman completely infertile in this menstrual cycle (e.g., LPD, see below), or it can change the position of her fertile window (the time of ovulation included) within the menstrual cycle. Any of this can cause problems and lead to more stress…

The medical term is stress response, and it refers to the overall reaction of the organism to any adverse stimulus, whether it be of physical, mental or emotional kind, internal or external. The purpose is to adapt to challenge, and this goes on all the time. (C’est la vie! Real life is a never-ending series of stress responses.) Should the compensating reaction of the organism be inadequate or inappropriate, a pathological disorder may result.

The HPA axis, the immune system and the…

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Difficult to conceive – Google evidence that pregnancy complications and trying-to-conceive concerns shot up after the Pill launch in 1960s

December 18, 2011

Regardless of what contraceptive proponents tell you

On this day when Vaclav Havel passed away. In this post, I come out explicitly with an argument against the use of contraceptive pills and related agents (all Endocrine-Active Compounds [EACs]), because of the serious consequences of the sex steroid chemicals for women’s health. I start with evidence from Google statistics.

It is possible to examine the English-language literature for the frequency of addressing certain topics over a period of time. I already did this in the recent post “Seven billion people – after half a century with the Pill”.

Let’s look at data from Google Ngram Viewer about the statistics of the occurrence of certain topics (such as difficult birth) in all books published in English. The data is obtained via http://books.google.com/ngrams/info – for anyone to examine.

Briefly, when we enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how frequently those phrases occurred in a corpus of books (here English-language books) over the selected years (here 1900 to 2000). The data is normalized by the number of all books published in each year.

Here we have a comparison of statistics of three phrases:

pregnancy complications (blue),

difficult birth (red), and

trying to conceive (green).

Ngram 6: pregnancy complications, difficult birth, trying to conceive

Ngram 6: pregnancy complications, difficult birth, trying to conceive

The topic of difficult birth exhibits an almost linear growth over the century, even though there are discernible steps in the early years such as the step that followed the plateau (flat portion) lasting from about 1915 to just before 1930, when it “shoots up to catch up with” the overall trend. And, overall, the red curve grows steadily from 1900 to 2000.

In contrast, the blue curve of pregnancy complications and the green curve of trying-to-conceive both shoot up only after 1960, the decade of the introduction of the contraceptive pill. The steep rise in pregnancy complications books (blue) starts soon after 1960. The rise in the number of books about trying-to-conceive (green) starts in mid-1970s and is also distinctly faster than the steady growth over the century of books on difficult birth (red), although it is slower than the pregnancy complications that started going up some ten years earlier.

Of course, the green trying-to-conceive curve is not uninteresting in the early decades of the century, either, if only because it appears that the late Victorians had a significant interest in the topic, much higher than in the other two and especially as compared to pregnancy complications (blue). I’ll leave any discussion of the trend there to others, although the downward trend in the first half of the century would seem consistent with the rise of the birth control movement and with the consequences of two World Wars, and the Great Depression in between.

Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of War, c. 1628

Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of War, c. 1628

Those two generations had it tough but, on the other hand, their health, the health of humankind, was not yet assaulted by the sex-steroid chemicals that were introduced in the 1960s.

In a previous bioZhena’s Weblog post, you can see evidence that oral contraceptive use directly and negatively impacts the cervical crypts, which brings about the difficulty to conceive. The bottom line is this: “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 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.”

This is a serious problem because, according to medical literature, most American women, “approximately 85% of U.S. women will use the OC (oral contraception) for an average of five years.1 However, women’s OC use, similar to other chronic medications, is often inconsistent and transient.2 Reported six-month OC discontinuation rates vary from 18% to 50%.3,4,5 Unintended pregnancy often follows OC discontinuation” END OF QUOTE. (Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 April; 196(4): 412.e1–412.e7)

These data can be read and understood as the double-whammy put on or dealt to American reproductive and public health. That is the high prevalence of trying-to-conceive problems (sub-fertility and infertility) and at the same time the very high rate of unintended pregnancies.

Lion_Hunt_Mosaic in Pella

Lion_Hunt_Mosaic in Pella

zb.jpg

zb.jpg

While many proponents of chemical contraception minimize or gloss over the side effects of contraceptive chemicals, it is known that “OCPs (oral contraceptive pills) have several known metabolic effects including increased production of clotting factors resulting in increased risk of venous thromboembolism, increased gallstone formation during the first year of use, and increased risk of liver adenomas (Speroff and DeCherney 1993)” – cited from Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 October; 4(5): 905–911 (paper from University of Vermont College of Medicine and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Women’s Health Care Services)

That said, studies mainly focus on side effects such as amenorrhea, the incidence of breakthrough bleeding and spotting, compliance, discontinuation rates or patient satisfaction, headaches, genital irritation, tiredness, bloating, and menstrual pain.

To cite from said medical publication “Evaluation of extended and continuous use oral contraceptives”, Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 October; 4(5): 905–911 QUOTE [emphasis mine]:

In a normally menstruating woman who is not taking contraceptive hormones, progesterone is only present in appreciable quantities during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle [meaning: after ovulation], after the development of the endometrium. When combination OCPs are administered, the effect of the progestational agent takes precedence over the estrogen component in the reproductive tract, and the endometrium demonstrates this progestin effect (Moyer and Felix 1998). The result is a thin, decidualized (transformed) endometrium with atrophied glands that is not receptive to embryo implantation. Progestins also cause thick, impermeable cervical mucus, preventing sperm from reaching the uterine cavity, and also decrease tubal mobility, altering the movement of sperm and oocytes through the fallopian tube (Johnson et al 2007; Rossmanith et al 1997) END OF QUOTE.

This is consistent with the Erik Odeblad findings about the fine structure of the cervical tissues. http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/18/9/1782

Edward_Burne-Jones_Maria_Zambaco_1870

Edward_Burne-Jones_Maria_Zambaco_1870

Further to the examples of studies about the mainly short-term effects of chemical contraception, here are examples of published findings about the harmful long-term effects of the sex steroid chemicals administered to healthy women. This is not a systematic review, merely a couple of examples.

BONE HEALTH:

The conclusion of “Effects of Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate and 20 μg Oral Contraceptives on Bone Mineral Density” [Obstet Gynecol. 2008 October; 112(4): 788–799]is as follows:

QUOTE Use of very low-dose OCP (Oral Contraceptive Pill) may result in a small amount of bone loss. DMPA (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) use results in greater bone loss, but this is largely reversible at the spine. Use of very low-dose OCPs after DMPA discontinuation may slow bone recovery.

As a result, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in 2004 advising women to limit its use to ≤2 years.

Oral contraception (OC) containing only 20 μg ethinyl estradiol (EE) may also adversely affect bone health, especially if used during adolescence. END OF QUOTE [emphasis mine].

HEART HEALTH:

According to J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 November 9 (Published in final edited form as: J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 August; 92(8): 3089–3094), “whether OCP use in healthy young women is associated with increased CV (cardiovascular) risk is controversial. However, a recent meta-analysis of 14 studies showed that current use of low-dose OCPs increased the risk for myocardial infarction by 84% (37). More data are available regarding CV risk associated with estrogen/progestin use in older women… The Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study showed an early increase in events and no benefit overall in women with known CV disease, and the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial demonstrated an increase in CV events in healthy women (38, 39).” END QUOTE.

René Boyvin, The rape of Europa, c. 1545-55

René Boyvin, The rape of Europa, c. 1545-55

In Greek mythology Europa (Greek Ευρώπη Eurṓpē) was… seduced by the god Zeus in the form of a bull, who breathed from his mouth a saffron crocus[14] and carried her away to Crete on his back… and so see Wikipedia for the whole story. Oh, and should this not be clear, the metaphor here pertains to the man-made OCP [Oral Contraceptive Pill] accomplishment…

Max Beckmann, The rape of Europa (1933)

Max Beckmann, The rape of Europa (1933)

Returning to Odeblad’s results on the consequences of the Pill for the cervix uteri, that is on how contraceptive chemicals make it difficult to conceive later – and reiterating the take-home message put forward previously in “About atrophy, reproductive aging, and how it’s really not nice to fool Mother Nature – or with”:

Natural aging of cervical S crypts (= cervical aging of a woman never pregnant and never on the Pill):

S crypts, which are needed for conception, are down to 20% at 40 years of age, at the natural aging rate -2% per year. Here you have the reason why a too mature age leads to sub-fertility and to infertility. My remark: The optimal age for motherhood has always been and always will be the early twenties of a woman’s life.

Atrophy acceleration effect of 10 years on the Pill:

S crypts are down to mere 10% at 40 years of age. Here is why it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature, why it’s not good to mess with her design. Fertility is drastically reduced. The Pill is an archetypal anthropogenic Endocrine-Active Compound [man-made EAC]. It was brought up previously in this blog how there are very many of these EACs, all insulting the female body and health; some – like chemical contraceptives – by design. Having invoked the design, I am reminded that the original designers of the Pill had no idea about contraception – they were pushing the frontiers of steroid chemistry… (not this particular application of one kind of steroids).

Atrophy slow-down or beneficial effect of pregnancies:

S crypts only down to 40% at 40 years of age. Here you see Mother Nature’s design in action. Pregnancy slows down the inherent rate of natural cervical aging (atrophy, deterioration). The effect of 4 pregnancies was measured in the Odeblad research. This is not to argue for 4 pregnancies per lifetime – it’s merely how the difference between with and without was made more “easily” measurable in the very difficult studies.

And again, the bottom line is this: “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. …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.” END QUOTE.

In case you’d like to view the Carlo Adelio Galimberti picture accompanying the concluding words, please re-visit the cited earlier post. The concluding words were and still would be: While the story of Laodamia and Protesilao is touching, I merely want to ask that girls, ladies and their physicians do not moon the messenger.

P. S.

Vaclav Havel would smile at the image of “mooning” Laodamia. I smile at the thought of his riding the children’s scooter (kolobezka) along Saint Peter’s heavenly corridors (looking for Olga? Since Pani Dagmar remained down there?). He reportedly did that scooter-running in the “labyrinthine” corridors of Prague Castle…

STOP PRESS

And now, go and check out 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/

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 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/

More About Clomid, Serophene, Clomiphene citrate or Clomifene

June 25, 2010

Why popping pills is not the best. This chemicalization of life is a form of enslavement.

Expanding on the previous post, I reiterate what I left off with. 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 [any drug] you ingest is basically a must, if you do not play “Russian roulette” with yourself, your offspring, your family.

There is no such thing as a “magic bullet”, and every drug has side effects. It is advisable – and safer – to go about TTC by mastering the natural “right time” approach. The medical establishment has approved of it for birth control, even if not all medical schools teach it. (Go figure.)

Of course, this is the era of popping pills, but it might also be the tail of the era, if web 2 social networking and all that is really here to stay… (Please don’t say, “you wish” about the tail!) The pressure of big pharma advertizing is what makes for said era. In the Middle Ages, they who were accessible to the then lobbying pressures, had things like the Crusades, witch-hunts, and stuff like that. Now, there are different pressures and more customers accessible to them…

An Angel Leading the Crusaders to Jerusalem - Gustave Doré (1832 - 1883)

An Angel Leading the Crusaders to Jerusalem - Gustave Doré (1832 - 1883)

But, back to Clomid, clomiphene, now spelled clomifene. This http://www.early-pregnancy-tests.com/clomid.html is one of the many websites about the drug. It warns that “…in the case of clomid and FertilityBlend/FertilAid, the product makers do state that clomid should not be taken with herbal products…”.

Looking at the chemistry of the non-steroidal ovulatory stimulant Clomid (or clomifene), http://to.ly/5dn2, and keeping in mind the inevitable occurrence of metabolic biochemistry (drug transformation in the body of the patient), one finds this title:

Stilbenoids: Resveratrol, Tamoxifen, Diethylstilbestrol, Combretastatin, Pterostilbene, Clomifene, Stilbenoid, Combretastatin A-4, Kobophenol A – at http://to.ly/5dm1.

Simply put, these medicinal compounds are differently substituted stilbenes (http://to.ly/5dQa = chemically modified stilbenes [stilbene being an ethene double bond with phenyl groups on both carbon atoms of the double bond]). Here is the pharma business in a nutshell: The different substituents (or modifiers attached to the stilbene molecule) impart different electronic, electrochemical, biochemical and physiological activities. That’s what the pharmaceutical industry explores in or with their products.

Albrecht Durer - Christ among the Doctors. 1506.

Albrecht Durer - Christ among the Doctors. AD 1506.

Then, we have a search for triphenyl ethylene stilbene http://to.ly/5dkt . Some of the search results are as follows – with particular reference to the fourth one below the recumbent woman (where anthropogenic means “caused or produced by humans”, and endocrine, of course, pertains to an endocrine gland or its secretion into blood or lymph):

OESTROGENS AND PRO-OESTROGENS RELATED TO STILBENE AND TRIPHENYLETHYLENE http://joe.endocrinology-journals.org/cgi/content/abstract/3/1/168 . “It has recently been shown [Emmens, 1941, 1942] that oestrogensmay be divided into two classes—those which act directlyor with changes that can be effected locally…” (Yes, shown in the forties.)

Estrogens and antiestrogens I: physiology and mechanisms of action …, Volume 1 (1999) http://to.ly/5dkx . “The most prominent drug amongst these compounds is tamoxifen…”

1993: RU 486—A Decade on Today and Tomorrow http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=2203&page=71 . “The development of RU 4861 (Figure B1.1), the first efficient antiprogestin, may be seen as a result…this meeting, which merged science (hormone research) and the cause des femmes… it became clear that the available contraceptive methods did not completely meet the needs of women and their families; nor would they alone have a sufficient demographic impact… Mifepristone (RU 38486)…”

Albrecht Durer - Draughtsman Drawing a Recumbent Woman. 1525. Woodcut.

Albrecht Durer - Draughtsman Drawing a Recumbent Woman. 1525. Woodcut.

Chemistry of Natural and Anthropogenic Endocrine-Active Compounds http://to.ly/5dkG . “…endocrine active compounds comprise both naturally occurring substances and man-made chemicals, and their chemical structures are surprisingly diverse… Phytoestrogens, Industrial Chemicals… The stilbene-type agents diethylstilbestrol (DES), E,E-dienestrol and meso-hexestrol were synthesized in the late 1930s and are among the first man-made estrogens used for human treatment… banned today…  The phenolic A ring of steroidal estrogens has long been considered a prerequisite for estrogenicity… also of paramount importance for the high estrogenic activity of DES and other stilbene-type compounds… it has been observed that numerous other phenols exhibit hormonal activity… potential endocrine disruptors, viz., alkylphenols and bisphenols… prototype of bisphenols is bisphenol A (BPA, Fig. 12), used in large amounts for the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins… Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are among the most persistent and ubiquitous environmental pollutants. Whereas the PCBs themselves have no or at best marginal estrogenicity, significant hormonal activity may be entailed to these molecules by hydroxylation [22].”

Albrecht Durer - The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand. AD 1508

Albrecht Durer - The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand. AD 1508

To help make some sense of the above, let the editor of Annals of Internal Medicine (http://to.ly/5dnr ) say this: “…in the field of synthetic substitutes for the female sex hormones, the essential point is the establishment of the fact that estrogenic activity is not exclusively a property of compounds structurally similar to the natural hormones [that is, possessing the phenanthrene nucleus]… a number of simpler substances having estrogenic properties…”

So, again, there is no “magic bullet”, there are inevitable side effects, associated with lack of specificity (the scientific term for “no magic bullet”).

Specific Clomid warnings are, for example, at emedzone site (.com/clomid-brand-tabs-aventis-pharma-p-149.html). To cite: The regimen in which Clomid should be used depends on the individual condition… and if HCG was used mid-cycle or not.

Albrecht Durer - The Dresden Altar. AD 1496

Albrecht Durer - The Dresden Altar. AD 1496

Clomid Warnings

Clomid can cause disturbed vision and blurred vision and therefore should be used with caution…

For those women who are planning to get pregnant, be warned that taking Clomid may result [in] multiple births and this may be harmful to the mother and to the fetus as well. (Note: Multiple births are also a very big problem for public health.)

Clomid may also be not advised for patients with the following medical conditions (note: these are conditions that may have caused the difficulty to conceive in the first place):

  • Endocrinal disorders
  • Thyroid problems
  • Live[r] diseases
  • Ovarian cysts and enlargement
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Any other chronic illnesses
  • Endometrial carcinoma
  • Vaginal bleeding

If you have any of the above-mentioned diseases, your doctor may advise you not to take Clomid or will significantly alter your dosage.

Clomid is also not advised for pregnant women as it is a drug in the pregnancy category X and may cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women.

Clomid is also not advisable for nursing mothers as it passes into the breast milk and may cause harm to the nursing infant. END QUOTE.

Albrecht Durer - Durer's Wife Agnes

Albrecht Durer - Durer's Wife Agnes

In addition, the use of fertility drugs may be associated with an increased chance of developing ovarian cancer, although there is an ongoing controversy over this: http://to.ly/5dmf , http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Ovarian_cancer .

Such are the reasons why popping pills is not the best. Not to attack big pharma, but all this chemicalization of life is a form of enslavement. More insidious than the slavery that was abolished centuries ago, more subtle. First, make them buy a drug that causes such and such side effects including the least spoken of, the premature aging of the cervix http://to.ly/5dMb ; the ensuing problems are then tackled with other drugs (like clomifene), and on and on it goes.

Let’s contemplate with Albrecht’s wife Agnes why it should be that too many pregnancies were the problem before chemical contraception, whereas today… Today, sub-fertility and infertility are on the up and up, while contraceptive failure statistics are in the picture, too, showing that about half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, and that mature population of America uses surgical sterilization for birth control.

This is a man-made problem. See the next post about accelerated atrophy of vital cervical tissues (crypts) due to the man-made problem called the Pill (About atrophy, reproductive aging, and how it’s really not nice to fool Mother Nature – or with). And see the December 2011 post about Difficult to conceive – Google evidence that pregnancy complications and trying-to-conceive concerns shot up after the Pill launch in 1960s (this article reiterates and simplifies the take-home message put forward in the atrophy – aging – Mother Nature post; and two paintings of the Rape of Europa are showed there, too…).

Difficult conception tied to pregnancy complications – addressed

May 25, 2010

For, women bear great responsibility for the health of the yet to be born children.

“High-risk pregnancies are more likely in women who have difficulty getting pregnant, with or without help from hi-tech fertility treatments.”

Read more about this in the article from which this is cited, at: http://doctor.ndtv.com/storypage/ndtv/id/004480/type/news/Difficult_conception_tied_to_pregnancy_complications.html

In a nutshell, the article reports the outcome of an Australian analysis of the pregnancies of more than 2,000 subfertile women who sought A.R.T. fertility treatment between 1991 and 2001. The outcome is that these women were more likely to have pregnancy complications than a control group of twice as many women who became pregnant and “gave birth without using any assisted reproductive technique”.

The article gives as examples of complications higher incidence of pre-eclampsia (a potentially dangerous condition, marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine) and of cesarean sections, premature births and low birth weight babies, and even higher infant mortality.

Clearly, none of this is music to your ears!

Now, it is perfectly logical to highlight the important attributes of our Ovulona™ diagnostic technology in this context. The Ovulona is uniquely well positioned to assist, including the management of the early-stage pregnancies associated with subfertility and infertility.

The Ovulona™ addresses this, unlike any other conceptive-aid diagnostic device

The Ovulona FIV™ technology is unlike the various other conceptive-aid products (aka ovulation predictor kits and similar fertility self-help products such as certain smart phone apps) available in the marketplace today (the link added in January 2017). This is not only because of the unprecedented precision of determining the 3 days of the fertile window, which no other technique but our Folliculogenesis In Vivo™ (FIV™) technology can offer.

Allegory of Music by Francois Boucher

Allegory of Music by Francois Boucher

The other conceptive aids assume (but do not determine the boundaries of) a wider fertile window, and they merely assume ovulation without actually detecting it – because their techniques cannot detect it, and because detecting ovulation clinically is complicated and expensive.

The clinical detection of ovulation by ultrasound is also inconvenient and painful. It is painful because the technique is only about 80% reliable and so the good specialist will perform additionally two unpleasant tests (counting on your high pain threshold) in order to confirm the conclusion based on seeing the collapsed follicle in your ultrasound picture – the change seen the day after ovulation as a diminution of the presumed dominant follicle.

All this is also why medical scientists have had difficulties determining the fertile window. However, a very well designed 1992 study in Auckland, New Zealand showed the three days of the fertile window: 77% boys born on day 1 of the fertile window, 69% girls born on fertile day 3 (ovulation), and in between on day 2 of the fertile window, 70% boys and 30% girls (in that study of 55 births).

The 3-day fertile window was also evident in the data of a less well designed 1995 study that came out of the NIH. Both studies suffered from the use of inaccurate methods of estimating ovulation, resulting in data point outliers that they interpreted as indicative of a fertile window wider than 3 days – with much lower pregnancy rates on the flanks of said 3 days. Fertile window of 6 days has been in the public mind since the 1995 study that caused a sensation at the time (because 6 is much better than the previously believed 10 or even 13 or 14) – and so, the problems with achieving pregnancy have continued to this day.

An earlier post summarized this as follows [ https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/critique-of-birth-control-efficacies-in-nfp-as-published-by-marquette-university-researchers ]:

The old approaches to detecting fertility status are to be referred to as peri-ovulation methods. Where the prefix refers not to the Peri of Persian folklore (earlier regarded as malevolent!) but to the Greek meaning of about, around, near or enclosing – in this case ovulation. Surely, peri-ovulation or peri-ovulatory is a more palatable word than fuzzy.

In the context of the tie up between conception difficulties and pregnancy complications, the Ovulona FIV advantage is the following threesome – if “advantage” is even the right word. It really is a must.

The three things a woman needs to know to avoid unintended childlessness

There are three things that a woman experiencing difficulty to conceive needs to know. They are:

1. Know from your underlying folliculogenesis profile in the present menstrual cycle when exactly your 3 days of the fertile window occur.

2. Know within a couple of days after the detected ovulation whether your conceptive intercourse (intended to conceive) did or did not result in conception.

3. Know whether the early stage of pregnancy progresses well or not.

While numbers 2 and 3 are yet to be elaborated by bioZhena in clinical trials contingent upon funding, they are inherent in the principle of the FIV technique, discussed throughout the bioZhena’s Weblog .

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

https://biozhena.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/single-slide-narrated-best-wealth-of-info-in-menstrual-cycle-profile-signature.pps

The original medical paper, referenced in the doctor.ndtv.com article cited at the top, was not found in Fertility and Sterility issues of the last three months. But, one of the pertinent papers we did come across there revealed, based on a survey of several hundred female undergraduates at a North American university:

“Although most women were aware that fertility declines with age, they significantly overestimated the chance of pregnancy at all ages and were not conscious of the steep rate of fertility decline. Surprisingly, women overestimated the chance of pregnancy loss at all ages, but did not generally identify a woman’s age as the strongest risk factor for miscarriage.” The paper concluded: “Education regarding the rate at which reproductive capacity declines with age is necessary to avoid unintended childlessness among female academics and professionals” [Fertility and Sterility, Volume 93, Issue 7, 1 May 2010, Pages 2162-2168].

Chances of achieving pregnancy critically dependent on the timing of insemination

The reported overestimating of the chance of pregnancy – and by the same token also the predicament of people seeking to achieve pregnancy – can perhaps be understood in light of the following statistical factors.  Any woman has a 90% chance to be healthy at the time the sexual intercourse is occurring; the fertilization rate could then be intuited to average also 90%.  But it does not because of the inherent 25% loss to early embryonic mortality [EEM] or miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, so that a successfully inseminated healthy female has a significantly decreased chance of successful pregnancy.

As a consequence, the probability of achieving pregnancy is critically dependent on whether the insemination (natural or artificial) occurs at the right time (i.e. during the so-called fertile window). Contemplate the reason why this Bronzino picture of Allegory of Venus is so small.

Bronzino - Allegory of Venus

Bronzino – Allegory of Venus

Here is how critical this timing is for healthy women: Even if the probability of determining the insemination time correctly were 90%, the resulting probability of successful pregnancy from any one particular insemination event would be only 55%.  Get this! Only 55% under perfect conditions. This is because the probability of pregnancy is the combination of four individual probabilities:  90% x 90% x 75% x 90% = 55%.

That is, the statistical formula for the probability of successful conception of pregnancy multiplies the probabilities of being in good health, of successful insemination, of not miscarrying the conceptus, and of the probability of correct timing of the conceptive intercourse. Thus:

P-health x P-fertilization x P-non-abort x P-insemination timing = P-pregnancy

For example, a 60% success rate of correct timing brings the overall rate of pregnancy down to a mere 36%, and this goes down to a mere 30% if the correct timing probability is only 50%, in healthy fertile couples.

But then, even a quick search for data on EEM (Early Embryonic Mortality] suggests that human EEM is likely much higher than the above-considered 25%, possibly even as high as about 83% (“only one embryo in six survives to term”), and certainly appears likely around 50% in healthy women. (Different studies come up with different results.)

Hence the probability of pregnancy is lowered from the approximate 36% or 30%, and it can be much lower if the timing of insemination (intercourse) is off, if the probability of correct insemination timing is low. See the adverse effect of wrong timing of the attempt to get pregnant (Insemination timing probability) on the probability of success (Pregnancy probability) in the following table.

Probability of pregnancy as a product of four probabilities:

Health Fertilization Non-abort Insemination timing Pregnancy probability
.9 .9 .15 .5 .06
.9 .9 .15 .9 .11
1 .95 .55 .5 .26
1 .95 .45 .5 .21

Pertaining to the health factor, another study published in the same specialist journal showed that women who were obese adolescents had significantly higher odds of remaining childless compared with normal weight women [ Fertility and Sterility, Volume 93, Issue 6, April 2010, Pages 2004-2011].

Women and the health of humankind

Childlessness is one thing, and the enormous responsibility that women carry on their shoulders is another. That is, responsibility for the health of the as yet unborn children. Like it or not, a woman’s health and lifestyle both have significant consequences for the offspring.

Alfons Mucha - Job

Alfons Mucha – Job

Cigarettes are a big huge problem, causing harm to your unborn, and that’s smoking at any time, not just in pregnancy.

Premature births, a big huge problem with serious consequences.

Difficult births requiring the use of forceps, the pincer-like tool they might use to pry the baby’s head out of you with – that, surely, the baby could do without, if only the birth were not difficult…

These are just a few examples highlighting the major responsibility of womankind for the health of humankind. Healthcare, its rules and regulations and funding, better be geared to that.

Peri-vernal equinox tweets on #conceiving, #fertility status, achieving #pregnancy in the era of #infertility – “a modern epidemic”

March 20, 2010

NFP aficionados know that fertility awareness is for birth control, too

And language aficionados will know that the peri in the title does not refer to any “one of a large group of beautiful, fairylike beings of Persian mythology, represented as descended from fallen angels and excluded from paradise until their penance is accomplished.” Nor, for that matter, to “any lovely, graceful person.”

Peri or Paeri of Persian folklore and mythology

Peri or Paeri of Persian folklore and mythology

Peri is a prefix meaning “about” or “around” and “near”, appearing in loanwords from Greek [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/peri]. Just like here, whereby we invoke the Spring Equinox – when the Sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for exactly 12 hours and sets exactly in the west – this year on March 20. “And anyone standing on the equator at noon will not cast a shadow” [http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/mar20.html]. Lovely!

So then, now for the tweets (a little edited, since here we do not have the 140 character limit, and – in the usual manner – with clickable links to further information, including the #hash tags).

1)         2009 sales of #fertility LH kits at $272M outpaced #pregnancy tests http://to.ly/1p8Q Not exactly surprising since ~30% of US women do not get #pregnant in 6 or 12 months 12:04 PM Mar 16th

2)         #Infertility is “a modern epidemic”. In 17 studies, 56% of the relevant sub-population (range 42–76%) in developed countries sought medical help http://to.ly/1pdo but less than 1/2 of them received care 2:30 PM Mar 16th

3)         Unintended pregnancies = “global epidemic”. US family planning is “uniquely deficient” (50%) http://to.ly/1pcB Cause: high contraceptive failure rates 2:34 PM Mar 16th

4)         Leading causes of unintended pregnancy are closely related to #contraceptive failure. Failure rates: 31% the Pill, 18% condoms, 5% 3-month injectable #birth control 2:43 PM Mar 16th

5)      Medscape OBGYN: #fertility awareness can be highly satisfactory #birth control & #family planning method http://to.ly/1peK http://to.ly/1peM 3:14 PM Mar 16th

6)      RT @bioZhena #fertility awareness [FA] is a great #birth control & #family planning method especially for women 30+ years of age, and those who are able to practice FA without a teacher 3:23 PM Mar 16th

7)      Statisticians: Best frequency of sex for unfocused conception attempts is every 2 or 3 days http://bit.ly/d9tCfm to avoid exhaustion. Else, everyday 5:32 PM Mar 16th

8)      RT@bioZhena But even sex every day for 20 days from day 6 to day 25 only computes as 69% probability of conception. So what else is new in the world of sub- #fertility, wanting #pregnancy but being put into the sub- #fertile category 5:34 PM Mar 16th

9)      Trying to get #pregnant without knowing when-to frequently does not work for a long time. Yet, often all that’s needed is knowing your actual fertile window in the present cycle http://to.ly/VCF 7:18 PM Mar 16th

10)  For #fertilityawareness, NFP for #pregnancy and/or #birthcontrol, we have the tool for you http://to.ly/VCF — or, rather, will have, once funded. Comments? 7:19 PM Mar 16th

The Ovulona is not another ovulation kit, my dear

October 6, 2008

@bioZhena‘s reply to Jennifer K. who wrote: How is this different from the other ovulation kits on the market today? It seems very similar to products I have seen before. QUOTE UNQUOTE

Actually, Jennifer, you are mistaken. There is no such thing available to you in the marketplace today.

This blockquote is added in April 2017

Ovulona - single slide 3-day fertile window

ovulona-single-slide-3-day-fertile-window-forexs.pps

None of the ovulation kits – which the Ovulona™ is not – or any other fertility-status monitors on the market today have the required ability to determine fertile day 1, fertile day 2, and fertile day 3 (= ovulation, the last day of the fertile window).

All the existing techniques merely guesstimate the approach of ovulation, and none of them can detect ovulation separately from predicting it. They detect neither the first day nor the last day of your brief fertile window – so, they declare the fertile window to be wider than it actually is.

Let’s try to illustrate this with the following graphical comparison of the Ovulona 3-day fertile window versus the fuzzy and much wider, uncertain window indicated by one of the old techniques. (In this case depicted here it was the so-called Peak mucus method but LH kit and BBT yielded similarly wide and fuzzy fertile periods, that is the days on which intercourse resulted in pregnancy.)

Ovulona 3-day fertile window versus old methods' fuzzy estimation of the fertile period

Ovulona 3-day fertile window versus one of the old methods

Because in the Old Method ovulation was only guessed at, a fuzzy fertile period obtained.

Fuzzy and long. Wrong.

There is no device in the marketplace that would tell you, in plain English (or in Spanish, Chinese or maybe even in Czech!), “today is your fertile day 1” – meaning that sex today is likely to lead to pregnancy. And from our clinical trial results you will know that the pregnancy conceived on this first of the fertile days is likely to be a male fetus, a boy. We base this expectation on the results of other people’s studies, referenced below.

The rationale, briefly, is this: The male sperm live long enough to be available for fertilization when ovulation releases the ovum (egg) from the ovulating ovarian follicle. Whereas the female X-chromosome bearing spermatozoa have a chance to produce a baby girl only if intercourse takes place on the day of ovulation, because of their short lifespan. With the Ovulona, the rationale will have a chance to be tested and/or utilized in real life…

No such powerful tool out there

There is no device that would – subsequent to determining the days of the fertile window – confirm the pregnancy within a day or two. When, after ovulation on fertile day 3 (indicated in the graph here as day 0), your Ovulona would no longer register the usual follicular waves – and the device would interpret that as pregnancy detected, because that is how it works.

In gynecological convention, days of the menstrual cycle are counted from the first day of menstrual bleeding, but the researchers involved in studying the prediction of ovulation use also another counting system. In that counting system, the day of ovulation is day 0 (zero). This is to allow for comparisons of different cycles, because cycle lengths as well as the phases of the menstrual cycle vary from month to month and also, of course, from woman to woman.

Because the sperm can remain viable for several days but the egg can be fertilized only for several hours after ovulation, there are several fertile days before ovulation. Should the egg remain viable for fertilization longer than the believed 12 to 24 hours, there would be also one fertile day after the day of ovulation. Delayed ovulation will have this effect and this is discussed below. Only our menstrual cycle tracking technology can detect delayed ovulation, a very important attribute.

We believe that published evidence from clinical studies of this problem leads to the conclusion that there are only 3 days of high probability of getting pregnant, and that the ovulation day is the last day of this narrow fertile window.

3-day fertile window vs. old method e2

For more on the foundation of this belief (i.e. for the working hypothesis of the 3-day fertile window), see https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/fetal-sex-preselection-%E2%80%93-illustrated/ where we show the outcome of the France et al. study of fetal gender pre-selection superimposed on the menstrual cyclic profile generated by our device in a small clinical trial. This indicates how baby gender pre-selection works or rather how it will work when the Ovulona™ is launched in the marketplace.

This is how come that, in the illustrations above including this one, the days of the fertile window are counted back from ovulation, and hence their negative signs in the graph. Day -2 on this time scale is the first day of the fertile window. It is clearly discerned in our menstrual cyclic profile signature, as shown in the first illustration of this post.

How prior art products and methods fail

If you only detect the ovulation day with your LH kit, it is too late for the previous 2 fertile days. Similarly, if you detect an elevated BBT temperature, which rises and remains elevated after ovulation, it is also too late. The timely determination of the pre-ovulation fertile days has always been THE key problem for NFP [Natural Family Planning] and generally for the Fertility Awareness Based Methods of reproductive management.

There is no device out there that would determine the only 3 days in each menstrual cycle during which – and only during which – pregnancy can result from insemination, whether natural or artificial.

The other fertility monitors – including the more recent smart phone apps – cannot detect delayed ovulation (which happens due to stress) despite the LH hormone signaling that ovulation should go ahead. Neither can the various other monitors warn you when ovulation cannot occur because of the failure of dominant follicle maturation in the present menstrual cycle.

There is no other device that would enable you to avoid the expense and hassle of trying to become pregnant with the help of the costly Artificial Reproductive Technologies when your dominant follicle maturation is not happening – which is only detectable with our folliculogenesis-tracking little device for home use.

Your gynecologist, your family doctor – or your psychiatrist if you suffer badly with PMS (diagnosed as PMDD) – does not have the benefit of the folliculogenesis cyclic profiles stored in the Ovulona memory for better diagnosis and better treatment than you can get today. They do not as yet have the benefit of systematic longitudinal recording of your menstrual cycle vital sign signatures, to facilitate better diagnosis of a health problem such as you may have.

There is no other technology that would – automatically and without bothering you at all – keep track of whether your cervical tissues are healthy, and would issue a warning only when detecting tissue aberration several months in a row – to spare you the anxieties and expenses associated with the Pap smear cervical cancer tests’ frequent false positives. Yes, this too is a functionality planned for the Ovulona in the future.

There is no technology as yet available to all women worldwide with these empowering features at a perfectly affordable cost.

oh yeah

oh yeah

Read also the 2012 article https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-fallacy-of-ovulation-calculators-calendars-and-circulating-hormone-detectors/The fallacy of ovulation calculators, calendars and circulating-hormone detectors.  Don’t let them lead you by the nose with likely this and probable that! You need to know for sure. Day 1, day 2, day 3. Simple.

Should an investor be reading this, do check out the  Home Page of bioZhena’s Weblog

Contact via email vaclav@biozhena.com


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