Thursday, June 25, 2009

Overcome Infertility - Understanding the Male Biological Clock

Overcome Infertility - Understanding the Male Biological Clock
By Kyle J Norton

Infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse or the cannot carry the pregnancy full term. It effects over 5 million couples alone in the U. S. and many times more in the world. Because of an unawareness of treatments, only 10% seek help from professional specialists. In fact, about 35% of infertility is caused by the male's inability to fertilize. 35% is caused by the female's inability to conceive, 10% attributes to both, and 10 % is considered a failure with an unknown cause.

Even though the sperm in the male reproductive organ do not change much, the quality and quantity of sperm may be reduced by low levels of testosterone due to ageing. Therefore, you can see why a couple in their late 20's is easier to conceive than a couple with a wife in her 20's and a husband at the age of 40 and more. Study shows that the odds of male fertility rate decreases at an alarming rate of 11% every year and the chance for his partner to conceive declines even further.

According to the study of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, the rate of miscarriage also increases substantially when the father was over the age of 35.
1. Nearly 17 percent if the father was over 34 years old.
2. Around 20 percent if the father was between the ages of 35 and 39.
3. Over 32 percent if the father was older than 44.

Most couple delay unwanted conception by having the female partner take contraceptive pill or by using condoms, or other methods. Unfortunately, by the time they think that they are ready to have children, they are in their mid thirties and according to the above statistics, the rate of fertility is low and the risk of miscarriage is increased substantially, not counting the risk of giving birth to a child with a defection, including chromosomal abnormalities. Like an old car, no matter how much money which you spend each year to fix it, it will never work like when it was new.

It is wise for a couple to conceive no later then the age of late 20's and early 30's to prevent any unnecessary stress caused by infertility within 12 months after they decide to have a baby.

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"Let Take Care Your Health, Your Health Will Take Care You" Kyle J. Norton
I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Master degree in Mathematics, teaching and tutoring math at colleges and universities before joining insurance industries. Part time Health and entertainment Article Writer.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Older Fathers: Increased risk of having children with autism, schizophrenia

Older Fathers: Increased risk of having children with autism, schizophrenia
Older fathers: link to autism, schizophrenia.
By Paul Raeburn on January 28, 2009 - 1:52pm in About Fathers

Just after my two-year-old son, Henry, was born, I was surprised and disturbed to learn that he was at increased risk of autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other ills-because of my age.

My wife, Elizabeth, and I knew about the risks associated with the children of older mothers, with Down syndrome being the most widely recognized. She was tested for whatever was testable while she was pregnant with Henry, and he seemed to be healthy in every respect.

There is, however, no pre-natal test for autism or schizophrenia. And yet the risks are substantial: A 40-year-old man has the same chance of fathering a child with schizophrenia as does a 40-year-old woman of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome.

Why do we know so much about the genetic ailments associated with older mothers, but almost nothing about the diseases associated with older fathers?

In an article I've just written for Scientific American Mind, I note that the number of older fathers is on the rise, meaning the number of children at increased risk for autism and schizophrenia is also on the rise.

Nobody understand why this should be true. A woman's eggs are constructed and stored before she is born. It's reasonable to think that as they age, they might acquire genetic errors that could lead to disease. But sperm are freshly manufactured whenever they're needed; they are not stored. So what could be going on there?

The speculation is that something is going wrong with the so-called spermatogonial cells, the factories that make sperm. It's unclear what is happening, but the situation clearly deserves further research.

And why are older fathers not told of the risks?

That seems wrong to me. Some time ago, I called Charles J. Epstein, past president of the college of medical genetics, and Marilyn C. Jones, the current president, and asked them if they could explain why this don't ask-don't tell policy made sense, especially considering the new findings. "To put it out there every time somebody comes to you for counseling probably engenders more fear than light," Epstein said.

Jones agreed. "Paternal age is usually not addressed in counseling couples of advanced age because there is no simple test to address the risk," she said. "If there is nothing to offer a couple but increasing anxiety, many counselors and physicians do not bring the issue up."

Why then all the fuss about Down syndrome in the children of older women, when the risks for the children of older fathers are about the same? "You bring up Down syndrome, because you get sued if you don't," Epstein said. "And there are options. You can go through prenatal diagnosis, you have the option to terminate."

Epstein points out that the general rate of abnormalities of all kinds in newborns is about 2-4%. So even a 3% risk of schizophrenia in the children of men over 50 is not out of line with other risks. And it sounds less frightening when put this way: A 50-year-old man has a 97% chance of having a child without schizophrenia.

Still, I wish I had known what the risks were before we decided to have children. Would we have gone ahead anyway? That's difficult to say. But at least we would have had all the information we needed to make an intelligent decision.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Father's Sperm Delivers Much More Complex Material Than Previously Thought

Father's Sperm Delivers Much More Complex Material Than Previously Thought
ScienceDaily (June 15, 2009) — It was long believed that conception does not involve a meeting of equals. The egg is a relatively large, impressive biological factory compared with the tiny sperm, which delivers to the egg one copy of the father's genes. However, a new study from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah reveals that the father's sperm delivers much more complex genetic material than previously thought. The findings could lead to a diagnostic test to help couples deal with infertility.

Researchers discovered particular genes packaged in a special way within the sperm, and that may promote the development of the fetus.

"Our findings show that the father plays an active role in packaging his genome to help ensure a healthy baby," says study co-leader Brad Cairns, Ph.D., investigator with HCI and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah. "However, they also raise the possibility that a man's aging, health and lifestyle may alter this packaging and negatively affect fertility and embryo development."

During fetal development, certain genes make decisions about organ and tissue development. The new research shows that in sperm, these genes are wrapped in special packaging materials called 'modified histones.' These modified histones appear to be key factors in ensuring genes are activated or repressed at the right level, place and time, which helps the fertilized egg develop properly.

Chromosomes are long strands of DNA containing thousands of genes, and their packaging helps determine which genes turn on and off. Understanding how these genes are activated or repressed leads to a better understanding of how disorders like birth defects and cancer develop.

"Genes have on-and-off switches, and understanding them allows us to target them, leading to possible treatments, cures or prevention strategies," says Cairns. "That's the good news."

The study is set for publication June 14 – a week before Father's Day – in the online edition of the journal Nature. The research involved collaboration between Cairns' lab at HCI and the University of Utah's in vitro fertilization (IVF) and andrology lab led by Doug Carrell – along with their joint graduate student, Sue Hammoud.

An implication of this study is that factors such as genetic mutations, age or lifestyle may affect sperm chromosome packaging, leading to infertility. "We are hopeful that this work will soon lead to a clinical diagnostic test that will help couples with infertility problems make better informed decisions regarding their prospects for a healthy child. We will also be testing if aspects of a man's lifestyle – such as age, diet or health – affect proper packaging and fertility," says Cairns. Other future work includes how decision-making genes are packaged in eggs, which remains a major mystery.


Adapted from materials provided by University of Utah Health Sciences.
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MLA University of Utah Health Sciences (2009, June 15). Father's Sperm Delivers Much More Complex Material Than Previously Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from­ /releases/2009/06/090614153253.htmAds by GoogleAdvertise here