Do we need new guidelines for how healthcare staff deal with miscarriage ?

An article asking this very question was published today in The Times. It is based on the results and recommendations of an online survey produced by mumsnet (an online resource for parents)

Here are some extrcts from the article:

Insensitive health workers compound the suffering caused by miscarriage, but a Mumsnet campaign aims to change matters

In recent weeks and months Benson, and hundreds of others like her, have been logging on to the parents’ website Mumsnet to chart their experiences of what can seem like the uncaring, insensitive face of the NHS – doctors, nurses, midwives and protocols that appear to take no account of the pain, physical or emotional, involved in miscarriage.

Ten steps to a caring NHS

The Mumsnet recommendations

1 GPs, early pregnancy units (EPU) and A&E staff should be trained in communication techniques (including things not to say to women who are miscarrying).

2 Access to ultrasound scanning facilities in cases of suspected miscarriage should be easier.

3 Women undergoing miscarriage or suspected miscarriage should be separated from women having routine antenatal and postnatal care, and women terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

4 Waiting times, especially for women who need surgery, should be kept to a minimum and women should not have to wait in antenatal or labour wards.

5 The surgical procedure “evacuation of retained products of conception” (ERPC) should be renamed to be less confusing and upsetting.

6 Women having a miscarriage should have the different options explained to them: “natural” miscarriage; medication to speed up the natural process; and surgery.

7 Where miscarriage occurs in hospital, doctors should discuss with the parents what they wish to happen to the foetus (ie, it should not simply be disposed of routinely).

8 Follow-up appointments and/or counselling should be routinely offered after miscarriage.

9 Information about pregnancy and miscarriage should be held centrally so that all pregnancy-related appointments can be automatically cancelled.

10 Consideration should be given to routine blood tests for any conditions that could cause miscarriage.

Click here to read the full article

Chlamydia-can it affect male fertility ?

I was browsing through the Times online Fertility File and found this interesting article about Chlamydia and male fertility.

It is well known that Chlamydia can affect female fertility adversely by causing infection in the female urogential tract and blocking the fallopian tubes. Chlmaydia can also be a cause of recurrent miscarriage if untreated.

Here is an extract from the article

Chlamydia, the sexually transmitted infection (STI) carried by one in ten sexually-active young British adults can make men infertile by damaging the quality of their sperm, new research has shown.

While the condition, which usually passes undetected, has long been known to threaten female fertility, scientists from Spain and Mexico have now established that it presents similar risks for men.

Men with chlamydia have three times the normal number of sperm with genetic damage that can impair their ability to father children, the study found.

Antibiotic treatment can reverse the effect, and preliminary results indicate that it may dramatically enhance pregnancy rates when couples are trying for a baby. But the discovery suggests that the prevalence of the disease may be contributing to infertility across an entire generation of young adults.

Click here to read the full article

Click here for information or to buy home male fertility tests

Can your breakfast choice affect the sex of your baby ?

Just read this really baffling article online in the Times Fertility File. It is by I have previously scanned it, but not really thought about it until today

However it was brought home to me recently how many of my friends have 3 boys. My friends are all of healthy weight and eat breakfast every day- a high energy breakfast cereal. Could their dietry choices have produced all these boys I wondered as suggested by the article ?

The article  discusses the findings of a recent study by the universities of Oxford &  Exeter invloving 740 pregnant women ,which found that eating a high energy breakfast cereal increased the chances of the baby being a boy.

Here is an exert from the article:

Breakfasting on Shredded Wheat or cornflakes has been found to increase dramatically a woman’s chances of having sons instead of daughters. Up to 59 per cent of women who get pregnant after eating high-energy breakfasts end up giving birth to a son.

By contrast, researchers have found, only 43 per cent of women who always skipped breakfast before conceiving managed to produce boys.

When food consumption is considered across the whole day the pattern is repeated, with 56 per cent of women eating high-energy food having sons. Of the women on low-energy diets, only 45 per cent had boys.

The findings, the first direct evidence that what is on the menu can influence gender.

Fiona Mathews, of the University of Exeter, said eating high-calorie breakfasts seemed to be the best guarantee of influencing the gender of a baby in favour of boys before conception. Getting into the routine of eating breakfast cereals seemed to be more influential than which brand was consumed, she said.

“Those women who eat the most are the ones who are most likely to have male babies,” she said. “Cereals seem to be one of the key food groups.”

Access Diagnostics UK fertility site