Filed under Human reproduction

More stuff for pregnant women to freak out about

More stuff for pregnant women to freak out about

A quick look at the press releases on Eurekalert for this week yielded: Eating junk food while pregnant may make your child a junk food addict (FASEB journal) Progesterone may be why pregnant women are more vulnerable to certain infections (Journal of Leukocyte Biology) When morning sickness lasts all day (TMI: Åse Vikanes’s doctoral thesis all about … Continue reading

The discriminating vagina

The discriminating vagina

All kinds of things go into a woman’s vagina. Some are friendly (like sperm and vaginal microbes), and some are very bad (STDs). The immune system in the vagina has to be able to tell the difference and react appropriately. As you can imagine, the system isn’t perfect and sometimes things go terribly wrong. An … Continue reading

Being pregnant must be super scary

Being pregnant must be super scary

Kate Middleton might love being pregnant, but for the average woman it can be confusing and scary. Every day we learn about some new thing that, if you do it when you’re pregnant, can totally screw up your kid. By this point, pretty much everyone knows that you shouldn’t smoke or drink during pregnancy. Even … Continue reading

Sperm tracked in 3D

Sperm tracked in 3D

Despite referring to sperm as “sperms”, this paper showing 3D tracking of human sperm swimming paths is pretty cool. Actually, I take that back. Calling them sperms definitely adds to the awesomeness. I won’t pretend to fully understand the physics behind their method, but it’s obvious that this imaging method will be important for many … Continue reading

Male contraception: a new advance

Male contraception: a new advance

Good news, guys: one day soon you may not have to worry about whether your girlfriend remembered to take her pill. The bad news? You might actually have to be the one who remembers to take it. A group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and … Continue reading

Double vaginas, double the trouble?

Double vaginas, double the trouble?

I just read this article on the Huffington Post website about a woman with two vaginas and two uteruses, an extremely rare condition known as uterus didelphys. The condition usually isn’t discovered until puberty, when the girl starts having what I can only imagine are the worst periods of all time. However, there have been … Continue reading

What mountain climbing does to your sperm

What mountain climbing does to your sperm

Thinking about taking a romantic excursion up in the mountains? If you’re trying to get pregnant, this may not be the best strategy. A study published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics has linked being at high altitudes with low sperm DNA quality.  Why did they choose focus on high altitudes? Previous research had shown that … Continue reading

Could cell phone use reduce male fertility?

Could cell phone use reduce male fertility?

For men, using a cell phone could damage your chances of having a baby. Even though cell phone use was linked to higher levels of testosterone, in a recent study at Queen’s University in Canada, it was also linked to lower sperm quality. Men who reported cell phone use had lower levels of luteinizing hormone, … Continue reading

Shopping for a daddy

Shopping for a daddy

A story about Danish sperm banks was just published on the BBC News website. Denmark remains one of the few European countries where men can anonymously donate sperm–and women from all over are buying it up. And talk about sexual selection: sperm customers can filter potential daddies by height, weight, eye color, and even their … Continue reading

Is good cholesterol good for fertility?

Is good cholesterol good for fertility?

Mice that are missing a protein required for taking up ‘good’ cholesterol from the blood have an increased risk for heart disease, which is what you might expect. But you might not expect these female mice to be sterile. Research done in 1999 found that female mice missing the receptor for good cholesterol, SR-BI, were … Continue reading

Evolution of genes for shorter pregnancy

Evolution of genes for shorter pregnancy

Five studies released this week focus on different aspects of reproduction, from advances in in vitro fertilization, to understanding how genes are regulated during early development (and how this could affect cancer later) and why human eggs are prone to mistakes that cause birth defects, especially in older women. Another study even discovered a way that  stress during … Continue reading

New research throws male fertility a bone

New research throws male fertility a bone

We’ve all heard that ‘milk does a body good’, but now there’s new incentive for men, in particular, to keep their bones healthy. New research has found that a hormone produced by bones is needed for testosterone production in males. In a paper published in the journal Cell on March 4, scientists showed that male mice that don’t … Continue reading