Posts Tagged ‘infertility’

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…).

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About Clomid, Serophene or, generically, clomiphene citrate. A critical look, part 1.

June 23, 2010

In relation to folliculogenesis, the mechanism of menstrual cycling, which we monitor in vivo – to get away from drugs as much as possible.

Last night I re-tweeted this:

RT @FertilAidAmy What is Clomid…? http://blog.fairhavenhealth.com/ = it’s NOT recommended to take it for >6 cycles, and it causes decreased fertile mucus

Then I found that there is no entry about Clomid in the Alphabet of bioZhena. Yet, Clomid is a very frequently administered medication for women with difficulty conceiving, “prescribed to women that are trying-to-conceive to induce ovulation. Clomid is often prescribed to women with irregular cycles that either experience irregular ovulation or don’t ovulate at all” (http://blog.fairhavenhealth.com/ ).

30% of women or couples cannot get pregnant

Clomid was also involved in a peculiar episode when a business-incubator director took me once to a local hospital’s young lady gynecologist thinking that, because she was written about in the local newspaper, she was just right for bioZhena Corporation’s quest for good people and/or “strategic allies”. Instead, the take of the young physician, who took several calls from upstairs during the “interview”, was something along the lines, “I don’t see what’s in it for me with your technology. When they [subfertility sufferers] come to us, we put them on Clomid, and that’s that…”.

dali - longlegs_large

Dali - Longlegs

Well, let’s look at what the “that’s that” is about. The referenced tweet mentioned, within the allowed 140 characters, two features. One, that Clomid should not be taken for more than 6 menstrual cycles. And two, that it is known to reduce the amount of the all-important fertile mucus, which is the cervical mucus form occurring only during the run up to ovulation. This essential temporary change is for the purpose of opening the cervical canal for the penetration of the sperm and, in fact, for what is called the capacitation of the sperm. At all times outside of the fertile window, the fertile mucus is replaced by the protective type of cervical mucus, which prevents the entry of microbes including sperm into the uterus and beyond.

For a concise overview of this essential mucus, read the article Cervical mucus (under C) in the Alphabet of bioZhena, at  https://biozhena.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/aaee-the-alphabet-of-biozhena.pdf . There we cite a noted expert on the subject, Dr. Erik Odeblad, and the gist of his message is: “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.”

You can imagine that this will have something to do with the reason why the woman becomes a patient and is now prescribed the fertility drug.

One other thing about the drug is the issue of the official “10-per-cent possibility that Clomid could produce twinning”, described by a physician’s blog post at KevinMD.com about “one of the largest malpractice awards in Canadian history. At issue is how the patient understood the discussion of the risks of Clomid”: http://to.ly/5cE7 .

Sublime moment by Salvador Dali, 1938

Sublime moment by Salvador Dali

Clomid is the brand name for the fertility drug clomiphene citrate. Clomiphene citrate may also be sold under the brand name Serophene or as the generic version called clomiphene citrate (http://to.ly/5cIc ).

Here is a bit more scientific take on how it works, cited from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clomifene ):

Therapeutically, clomiphene is given at day 2 of menses [menstruation]. By that time, FSH level is rising steadily, causing development of a few follicles [in the ovary].

Let’s interject a clarification: This timing is called the recruitment stage of folliculogenesis, during which LH induces an “angiogenesis” factor from the theca cells, increasing the blood supply and estrogen synthesis by the recruited cohort of follicles.

The term “selection” indicates the reduction of the recruited group of follicles down to the species-characteristic ovulatory quota, which in women and related primates is one. Selection is the culmination of recruitment on day 6 ± 1. “Typically only one of the two ovaries sponsors recruitment and selection of the single dominant follicle, which is destined for ovulation.” We detect the selection stage as the first marker in our ovulographic™ (or folliculogenesis in vivo™) cyclic profile. Refer to the bioZhena tech pitch page http://to.ly/xE6 and/or to http://to.ly/MJU , http://to.ly/MWl .

Back to the language of the Wikipedia article: Follicles in turn produce the estrogen, which circulates in serum. Clomiphene acts by inhibiting the action of estrogen on the pituitary [gland, or hypophysis, in the brain]. [It] binds to estrogen receptors and stays bound for long periods of time.

This prevents normal receptor recycling and causes an effective reduction in hypothalamic estrogen receptor number. As a result, the body perceives a low level of estrogen… Since estrogen can no longer effectively exert negative feedback on the hypothalamus, GnRH secretion becomes more pulsatile, which results in increased pituitary gonadotropin (FSH, LH) release. Increased FSH level causes growth of more ovarian follicles, and subsequently rupture of follicles resulting in ovulation. END OF QUOTE.

Dali - Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943)

Salvador Dali - Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man

From another Wikipedia article, about GnRH (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GnRH ):

At the pituitary, GnRH [Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (synthesized and released from neurons within the hypothalamus )] stimulates the synthesis and secretion of the gonadotropins, (that is) follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These processes are controlled by the size and frequency of GnRH pulses, as well as by feedback from androgens and estrogens. Low-frequency GnRH pulses lead to FSH release, whereas high-frequency GnRH pulses stimulate LH release. …the frequency of the pulses varies during the menstrual cycle, and there is a large surge of GnRH just before ovulation.

To reiterate, Clomiphene acts by inhibiting the natural action of estrogen on the pituitary gland in the brain, interfering with – or, shall we say, altering, manipulating – the process of folliculogenesis. Women’s health revolves around folliculogenesis and its complex control mechanism by the brain and by the ovaries.

To give you a sense of said complexity of the biology we are working with when we monitor folliculogenesis in vivo, we cite the specialist, Dr. Ernst Knobil: “The mechanism is believed to involve the circhoral* clock of the hypothalamic GnRH pulse generator, on which the circamensual** ovarian clock is obligatorily dependent”. [*Occurring cyclically about once an hour, pulses from the brain; ** about once a month.] From Knobil’s memorial lecture The Wisdom of the Body Revisited, available online at http://physiologyonline.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/14/1/1 .

Sleep by Salvador Dali, 1937

During the reproductive years, pulse activity is critical for successful reproductive function as controlled by feedback loops. Cited in conclusion from the Wikipedia GnRH article referenced above. (The Wikipedia also has an article about the cervix and cervical mucus, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervical_mucus#Cervical_mucus .)

15- Word(le) greetings from bioZhena's follicular waves

15- Word(le) greetings from bioZhena's follicular waves

A wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text.

In this case the entire bioZhena’s Weblog as it was in November 2009 — 15 most prevalent words.

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.

The above wordle, the “greetings from bioZhena’s follicular waves”, is a reminder that, before resorting to the chemical route, the innocuous “right time” approach is indicated (because it does not go against – it goes with – the natural biology of the body).

Have you noticed that the powerful Clomid is an estrogen agonist/antagonist? (Acting like estrogen or against estrogen. Tricky, yes? You bet. Or play roulette…)

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.

Folliculogenesis in vivo™ monitoring is far better than current home-use fertility self-help tools

March 28, 2010

And here is again why

The FIV™-monitoring Ovulona™ is superior compared to existing commercial products in the home-use fertility self-help category, such as the urinalysis hormone (LH) kits or OPKs and their improved electronic iteration, and other such products. Superior on several levels.

Unprecedented user-friendly design coupled with unprecedented accuracy, liberating the user from the vagaries of imperfect ovulation method-based probabilities.

That must be the main one for the TTC [Trying To Conceive] people, but additional attributes are no less significant. Multi-purpose applicability including but not limited to built-in early pregnancy detection and early pregnancy monitoring. That’s to help manage and deal with the inherently high prevalence of early embryonic mortality [EEM], the chief complication of human gestation. (See https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/about-the-added-bonus-of-folliculogenesis-monitoring-automatic-pregnancy-detection .)

When the TTC hurdle is successfully dealt with, the EEM is the next obstacle on the way to overcoming the sub-fertility issue. Just think about this for a moment. The EEM is Mother Nature’s design to deal with problems that quite likely lead to the TTC challenge (aka sub-fertility or even infertility) in the first place…

Pregnant

There is more to the superior attributes of the FIV technology [FIV = Folliculogenesis In Vivo]. Readily thought about is non-invasive natural birth control. The Ovulona is an electronic tool for 21st Century’s NFP and/or FAM. Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Method, both of which we envision under the umbrella of Scientific Family Planning™, SFP™.

Furthermore, once you become aware of how Folliculogenesis In Vivo works, it will be less of a surprise to see that the Ovulona tissue biosensor will also provide a nice and easy cervical cancer screen – and prospectively screening for other pathologies, and their treatment…

Treatment (as opposed to diagnosis), you wonder what that is about? It’s about the vaginal tissues being the most efficient route for administration of medications, and very logical for a topical treatment, wouldn’t you think? Logical and potentially pretty effective for public health, once the tool has become widely used due to its affordability and mass-market acceptance. That’s the vision.

Of course, there are still other applications that the male managers of investment coffers tend to view as women’s issues that are not their concern, such as management of PMS and its debilitating form the PMDD, such as proper evaluation of EDD and EDC (Expected Date of Delivery, and of Confinement), such as hormone therapy and related matters. All these are big issues of public health, the sentiments of said managers of other people’s money notwithstanding.

Book of hours - 069q

Now, back to the primary and initial use of the FIV-tracking Ovulona.

Only the Ovulona can determine the three days of the fertile window of opportunity to conceive, unperturbed by the talk out there – by the proponents of the imperfect ovulation measures – about six days, which talk stems from a certain highly publicized and yet flawed study in 1995… A publication (in NEJM) that caused a sensation at the time by shortening the NFP’s prescribed period of abstinence from the previous too long imposition to the less off-putting 6 days).

Detection of the 3 fertile days is possible because the Ovulona monitors the process of folliculogenesis, and it does it by sensing the tissues in the reproductive tract where the site of action is. Where the body integrates and responds to signals from the ovary and from the brain. That is the action, as opposed to the presence of this or that hormone in blood or urine or any other body fluid.

The determination of the three days window is absolutely necessary because only that way can conception be either assisted or avoided with the required accuracy. The existing home-use fertility tracking commercial products cannot do that, and that is why they speak about a longer and fuzzy fertile window. See preceding and older posts in this blog if you want to get a better understanding of all that which is covered by the short word fuzzy. You will also get the long word (peri-ovulation methods) if you delve into the matter that way.

The existing commercial products cannot be used, either, for an attempt at baby gender pre-selection by timing conception with respect to ovulation. They cannot do that because they do not anticipate ovulation accurately and they do not detect ovulation (they merely assume its occurrence).

Miro - Birth World

Joan Miro – Birth World

Consequently, those techniques cannot distinguish between 2 or 3 days before and the day of ovulation. This is to try for a boy or for a girl, respectively, or to TTC, or to avoid conception. The commercially available technologies do not detect ovulation independently of the one predictive element they test for – or two such elements, LH and E2, in the case of the urine-analyzing gadget now sold by Inverness/SPD GmbH. It is not unlike groping in the dark… The other electronic gadget out there, the one offered by Zetek, is tracking indirectly the effect of the same hormone (estrogen) in two body fluids with two probes at two different times during the menstrual cycle. And your old BBT method tracks indirectly the effect of progesterone that you know causes the BBT to go up a bit after ovulation, albeit with a statistical uncertainty of + or – 3 days (and a poor signal to noise ratio at that).

The thing that the old *Imperfect Measures* tools detect is an input in the hormone signaling mechanism they talk about but of which mechanism they monitor merely that one input hormone signal (or two). However, the boundaries of the fertile window are not single hormone events; hormone monitoring (direct or indirect) cannot define the fertile window.

The existing products do not determine the fertile window of 3 days because they monitor this or that remote parameter that only reflects some aspect of the process that culminates in ovulation. They only detect a hormone signal that says “ovulation can happen about now” (LH), or a signal that says “ovulation has occurred” (BBT); or some reflect estrogen (e.g., through saliva appearance). Estrogen elevates before LH but not far enough ahead, and certainly it does not indicate the start of the fertile window nor the end of the window, which is ovulation. A saliva property is a fuzzy detector of estrogen, much like the vaginal fluid’s tactile and visual examination practiced in some circles.

Clock Explosion by Salvador Dali

Clock Explosion by Salvador Dali

Significantly, the hormones that anticipate ovulation do not mean that ovulation occurs right away or even at all. They just signal that the body is ready. It is essential to actually detect the occurrence of ovulation independently of prediction, and only our technology does that. Stress often either delays or even prevents ovulation, and only the Ovulona™ detects this. You can again find some earlier posts with more details about this.

There are also earlier posts about the variability of ovulation times from cycle to cycle in the same woman (as well as across a population), and the variability can be more than the width of the fertile window, more than the said 3 days. That 3 day span tends to also be the statistical uncertainty of the old techniques referenced here, plus or minus 3 days.

Serious consequences ensue for the users of the old *Imperfect Measures* techniques, whether employed to achieve pregnancy or to avoid it. Look at the small example from a small test-of-concept study by an independent NFP research-and-teaching group.

Ovulona prototype detects delayed ovulation

In the four recorded cycles of a childless 41-years old patient, the Ovulona prototype captured 3 delayed ovulations out of the 4 recorded cycles. In only one of the four cycles did the LH agree with our ovulation marker while Peak Mucus indication was one day late in that cycle. In the three cycles with delayed ovulation, the delays were:

In cycle 1:  4 days after LH kit positive and 3 days after Peak Mucus.

In cycle 3:  3 days after LH kit positive and 2 days after Peak Mucus.

In cycle 4:  1 day after LH kit positive and 2 days after Peak Mucus.

In another post in this blog, we showed how the test data divides the NFP clinic patients’ results into two categories that we termed regular and irregular (challenged). To avoid confusion with the traditional usage of the term regular/irregular in the context of menstrual cycles, we shall refer to the two categories as ordinary and challenged, respectively. Cycle 2 is an ordinary cycle (with LH and Peak mucus within 1 day of ovulation marker day) versus the other records showing challenged cycles with delayed ovulation.

The other challenged cycles from the study are tabulated below here, and you will note that they are quite numerous even in the small study of just 10 women with 2 cycle records each. Even in that small population of real life women, 45% cycles were challenged. You also see that the ovulation delays occur at any age (here from 19 to 41 years of age), and regardless of parity (that is, regardless of whether the woman has ever borne children or not):

Challenged menstrual cycles in 10 women

In the table of ovulation days indicated by the three techniques, O stands for the ovulation marker of Ovulona prototype, LH means LH kit (OPK) positive result, and Pk means Peak Mucus result (as taught by NFP teachers).

As noted above, LH and Pk are in all these cycles lower than the O values, which relationship defines the category of challenged cycles (ovulation delayed with respect to given hormone signal). The delays in this small sample from a small pilot study are from 2 days to 4 days with respect to LH, and from 2 to 3 days with respect to Pk; two cycles are without any LH surge detection.

We also note that our self-diagnostic process – while generating the detailed folliculogenesis profile data for optional analysis by the woman’s healthcare provider – is not unpleasant as is urine sampling, and is not cumbersome, confusing or prone to subjective misinterpretation of results as the other technologies tend to be.

We can and we do envisage the Ovulona to become a friendly routine for the women of the 21st century, everywhere. The existing home-use fertility monitoring products could not aspire to play that role. Hormones in body fluids are only of temporary utility for TTC. Against that, FIV (or Folliculogenesis In Vivo) is not only a superior tool for TTC but it goes beyond that first use – to be of unprecedented and unique service in personalized women’s healthcare for years to come.

See earlier posts in this blog about how symptoms (such as PMS symptoms) vary depending on the day of cycle and on the health conditions of any woman. It is known that female patients respond to therapy differently in relation to their menstrual cycle, i.e., in relation to folliculogenesis. That relationship to the FIV profile is THE fundamental guiding principle of personalized medicine for women.

A new era of obstetrics and gynecology in the offing.

FIV for women's healthcare - the vision (from Space perspective)

Folliculogenesis in vivo for women’s healthcare – the vision  (from Space perspective, courtesy of NASA)

Yes, dear, contingent upon funding… Durer - Witches - 5%

        STOP PRESS

For more information 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/

A few more peri-vernal equinox tweets on #conceiving, #fertility, achieving #pregnancy & #baby gender contrary to Shettles

March 21, 2010

While NFP users know that fertility awareness is a must for birth control

We all know that the peri in the title does not refer to any “one of a large group of beautiful, fairylike beings of Persian mythology…”. We know that “peri” is in fact a prefix meaning “about” or “around” and “near”, appearing in loanwords from Greek, such as in the title here [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/peri].

Peri - 1865

Peri - 1865

And now for the last few tweets; again somewhat edited, since here we do not have the 140 character limit. And again with clickable links to further information, including the #hash tags with all sorts of tweets there by anybody using a given hash tag, in the manner of the Twitter social networking mechanism.

These tweets should do it for this departure into the so-called microblogging. Do check out http://to.ly/VCF for what a reliable #fertility tool is about. Read up on it http://to.ly/vUz

Here is a birth control product that will be in the competition category when we go into the birth control market: http://twitpic.com/1971ez – This is the device used to insert the ‘Mirena’ coil into the patient’s uterus. Sent via TwitPic. Retweeted by you and 1 other. The reason why this was re-tweeted by yours truly was to highlight the invasiveness of the pictured device, which bears no comparison with ours (quite apart from our device not inserting into the uterus). But, of course, our product is not out yet, with all its user-friendly and otherwise beneficial attributes. Any comments, dear reader, would be appreciated.

RT@pregnancyorg: Read about your cycles getting #pregnant before #conceiving http://ow.ly/1l765 — and then I suggest you also read http://to.ly/VCF and http://to.ly/vUz

RT@Averyugya81: ARTs [Artificial Reproductive Technologies] for #infertility treatment may pass on genetic defects – warns ART pioneer http://to.ly/1pOJ . This is reminiscent of the development when Father of the Pill Dr. Djerassi turned against oral contraception, promoting instead what he called “the Jet-Age Rhythm Method”, by which he meant fertility awareness (aided by technology, hence the reference to jet age)

RT@Averyugya81: How often do I have to have sex to get #pregnant? http://to.ly/1pPi

Adam and Eve by Tamara de Lempicka - solarized

How often?

– Every day for 20 days with 69% chance of success, write statisticians http://to.ly/1phs (from day x to day y of your cycle)

If this continues to be pleasuresome, carry on for months on end to overcome the odds. Else, you need focus, and see my earlier tweets. Fight statistics! (With pleasuresome determination and with the aid of a deterministic timing tool… in the offing)

Again: The odds are against us! #pregnancy #birth control #fertility #startup angel-investor-find-and-match… same difference! Odds are very low (without that focus)

@pregnancyorg‘s gender selection http://to.ly/1qkx seems to perpetuate the Shettles recipe. However, evidence http://to.ly/1nyK http://to.ly/1qmz contradicts Shettles (whose claims have the reputation of not being backed by or based on any properly designed clinical studies). Here is a summary of a solid study, which – for the lack of “Perfect” – employed three “Imperfect Measures” of ovulation as defined in the previous post. The three gave similar results. Female births at (or near) ovulation, male births 2 days earlier (or so)

Birth distribution by gender - France et al., focused NFP TTC study

Birth distribution by gender - France et al., focused NFP TTC study

The uncertainty expressed by the “or near” and “or so” is the consequence of the “Imperfect Measures”, but the trend is clear. Also rather clear is that the low birth counts flanking the high ones are data outliers due to measurement errors inherent in “Imperfect Measures”. For more on this, go to the earlier post at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/fetal-sex-pre-selection-%E2%80%93-the-fundamentals

Baby gender pre-selection will require a clinical study as stringent as the France et al. study was, but performed with our Ovulona instead of the inaccurate methods (BBT, Peak mucus, LH rise as opposed to LH surge apex)

Delville - Satan Treasures, 1895

Delville - Satan Treasures, 1895

RT@BabyMed: So can you get pregnant from having sex on your period? http://bit.ly/29yLQJ — THE absolute requirement is a RELIABLE #fertility monitor. (Persistent monitoring in the interest of evidence-based medicine)

RT@BabyMed: So can you get pregnant from having sex on your period? Yes, but only if the cycle is very short, which would be due to a very short follicular phase, which you can only detect with a RELIABLE monitor. (Not to track merely one, two or even three hormones in body fluids – you need to follow FIV™, Folliculogenesis In Vivo™)

RT@bioZhena RT@BabyMed: Furthermore, you want our built-in #pregnancy detection because it will see you #pregnant right away (not only about two weeks later), and – importantly – our device will also see if the pregnancy is lost, which happens quite frequently. See  https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/about-the-added-bonus-of-folliculogenesis-monitoring-automatic-pregnancy-detection . Early embryonic mortality is very high (according to some sources significantly more than 50%), and most of the losses of the conceptus occur early on, prior to 12 weeks. Mostly they occur sub-clinically, without the knowledge of the mother (by one expert source, 52% of all women who conceive experience early miscarriage…)             

RT@bioZhena: RT@BabyMed: Can #pregnancy result from sex on period? Yes, if it’s a very short cycle (due to a very short follicular phase) – which is unlikely – as the pre #ovulation phase is rarely that short. Since teenage cycles tend to be irregular and often short, this is of particular interest to sexually-active teens.  You must MONITOR your cycles if you don’t want any such surprise

RT@bioZhena: RT@BabyMed: Can #pregnancy result from sex on period? See here how unlikely it appears http://to.ly/1k9L . Unlikely, if the shortest follicular phase is 6 days. Menstrual bleeding would have to be as close to ovulation as 4 days, to make the answer unequivocally positive; that would mean cycle length of 18 days (or 16 to 20 days). Very rapid dominant follicle maturation. Until this (shortest follicular phase question) is investigated with our Ovulona monitor of Folliculogenesis In Vivo™ [FIV™], there is probably little data to invoke. I would be interested in any evidence.

Further peri-vernal equinox tweets on #conceiving, kairos time and #fertility, achieving #pregnancy, caution about in vitro & appearances

March 20, 2010

And NFP users still know that fertility awareness

is for birth control, too

As previously noted, language aware readers and subject matter aficionados know that the “peri” in the title does not refer to any “one of a large group of beautiful, fairylike beings of Persian mythology …” nor, for that matter, to “any lovely, graceful person” such as you are.

You already know that “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 take notice of 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 “, today.

And, “anyone standing on the equator at noon will not cast a shadow” [http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/mar20.html]. Lovely thought [entertained in snowbound Colorado Rockies]! Then another idea, not necessarily lovely – but a key concept: The dictionary does not tell that this is one of the instances of “kairos time” of the Earth! For the meaning of “kairos time” you can check out an earlier post here, https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/12/28/birthday-and-how-it-relates-to-the-biozhena-enterprise-%E2%80%93-eukairosic%E2%84%A2-diagnostic-tools

Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox (aka rovnodennost)

But now for some more of the tweets (again a little edited, since here we do not have the 140 character limit. And still – in the usual manner – with clickable links to further information, including more tweets of all sorts via the #hash tags).

Do you chart your #fertility cycles? If so, would you like to include our FIV cyclic profile http://to.ly/VCF in your charts? Do let me know if interested #pregnancy #birth 7:24 PM Mar 16th

If you have not yet explored bioZhena’s Weblog http://to.ly/vUz do visit http://to.ly/1kXE Variability of menstrual cycles and ovulation timing. Read on kairos time. 8:05 PM Mar 16th

A collage that depicts our message. After disappointments, once you determine your exact “kairos time” in the cycle you want to conceive in, you’ll get the #pregnancy you wish for http://tweetphoto.com/14671191 8:38 PM Mar 16th

Collage of 3 pics with 15-WordlegreetingsfrombioZhenasf-3.jpg

Collage of 3 pics with 15-WordlegreetingsfrombioZhenasf-3.jpg

Mistiming intercourse is the chief cause of apparent #infertility http://to.ly/1ppi . With a certain Fertility Monitor, they claim that 50% of users got #pregnant in the 1st cycle, and 92% in the 3rd. 196 women provided this statistic, out of 276 women asked. “The issue of early intervention with [clinical] tests and medications were highlighted, resulting in escalating costs and strain on the couple.”  2:02 AM Mar 17th

RT@bioZhena Compare the cost of the certain Fertility Monitor, which – unlike ours – requires monthly reagent sticks, from ~$250 (1cycle) to some $550 (10 cycles). Compare that to the average cost of ART medical treatment, which they report was $6,637 for the surveyed women, with a median medical evaluation cost $1,075 per cycle 2:06 AM Mar 17th

Kirchner Modern Bohemia

... with a median medical evaluation cost $1,075 per cycle ...

Numerous papers http://to.ly/1pq1 show improved #pregnancy rates and effective #birth control with #fertility monitors. That is with focus on determining the #fertile window 2:20 AM Mar 17th

Statisticians reported on day-specific probabilities of #pregnancy with data from 2 studies that used what they called (correctly) Imperfect Measures of ovulation http://to.ly/1pqh They did not ask: Perfect Measure of ovulation soon? 2:34 AM Mar 17th

*Perfect Measure*of ovulation resides in deterministic versus statistical approach.  *Imperfect* (fuzzy) replaced by accurate #fertility determination that indicates the first fertile day and the last fertile day, day 1, day 2, day 3, boom, boom, boom 2:49 AM Mar 17th

Fertile window of opportunity to conceive

Fertile window as determined by the Ovulona, and how it compares with the BBT

You should understand: No in vitro diagnostics (out of body), no circulating hormones like LH and/or estrogen can ever make a RELIABLE #fertility monitoring method because fertility is the result of a complex integration or interplay of numerous neuroendocrinological signals. This or that hormone in a body fluid does not do that. (It’s merely one of many input signals. In case of the BBT, more like an output.)

Similar caution applies to NFP observations of #fertility signs. Mucus is a measure of estrogen. It does NOT show the boundaries of the #fertile window, it only indicates ovulation is likely, but not when, and not really if

Your #cervix receives #fertility signals from the active ovary and from your brain. But understand that the cervix appearance and feel only indicates approaching #ovulation, not ovulation as such

The appearance of the cervix, like (the appearance of) ovarian ultrasound will indicate that ovulation was yesterday. Or, more accurately put, ultrasound indicates that the follicle collapsed and PERHAPS (80% probability) released the egg

Monitoring your #fertility signs is better than nothing BUT if it’s not helping you to get #pregnant, it will #stress you out and make things worse

Until you use a definitive deterministic tool, “better than nothing” is arguable if you take it from the statisticians that having intercourse about every day for 20 days is 60% likely to result in conception

Of course, you would still have ~40% probability of not achieving #pregnancy so what is new. That is the meaning of #subfertility. Need a solid tool that determines the 3-day fertile window, boom, boom, boom (but stress may prolong this – in a detectable manner).

Our deterministic tool avoids statistics and probabilities, and detects ovulation after anticipating it from what the cervix is saying electronically now, in this cycle. Most of the time not fertile, and then for a few precious days, #fertile

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

To sum up: Appearances are no real measures, they are only approximate.  Approximate is not good enough for #fertility status – to get #pregnant or, especially, to avoid getting pregnant. And, especially, if you want to try for a desired baby gender.

***

FOR MORE ABOUT ALL THIS GO TO 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.

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

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.

You can see evidence of that in data from 10 women attending a Natural Family Planning clinic. Differences from -5 to +3 days were recorded in this small sample, and these were differences between ovulation days in just two successive menstrual cycles (where cycle lengths ranged from 23 to 35 days). The variability becomes more extensive when more cycles are reviewed.

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 their consecutive menstrual cycles, and therefore also changes in the day of ovulation from one menstrual cycle to the next.

This fact of life is basic to the predicament of finding it difficult to achieve pregnancy – because you can get pregnant ONLY during the very narrow fertile window of 3 days; that is the day of ovulation plus the 2 days just before ovulation.

To read more about this, go to  https://biozhena.wordpress.com/the-fertile-window-is-3-days-wide-not-6-which-6-day-belief-originated-in-a-flawed-1995-study/

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 twelve 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 reviewing 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.

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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