Tag: Fertility

What is Wrong with Our Fertility?

 

My blood silently boiled back towards the end of 2019, when I consulted on a 43-year-old woman with a BMI of 48 who smoked, did drugs, had uncontrolled diabetes… and was 32 weeks gestation. How did she get pregnant and I can’t?!

“I just don’t understand why so many of you young women are having trouble getting pregnant! My friends and I, none of us had difficulty having kids. I just don’t understand it,” is what my mother said as I was talking to her after my third embryo transfer. The first one didn’t take at all, despite the 80% chance of success I was quoted by our previous fertility doctor, a guy who had helped several people I know get pregnant. “It has to work, I thought. I went in for more testing, and my medication regimen was adjusted accordingly. With the second transfer, I got a faint second line on the home pregnancy test, which was encouraging at first, any second line, no matter how faint means that something is trying to grow. The line faded over the next couple days, and by the time I went to have my beta hCG blood work drawn, it came back as zero; I had had a chemical pregnancy. The embryo implants but fails to progress and spontaneously aborts. That one hit me real hard. Seeing those two lines disappear caused a sadness I was not expecting. Mustangman and I cried over that loss. I took a break from all the stress and hormone injections for a couple of months, and in the meantime joined an IVF support group on Facebook for women in Ohio. Boy, did I learn a lot! Besides being introduced to the clinic I just switched to, I found hundreds of women struggling to get pregnant. Like buying a new car, suddenly you start noticing all the other people that drive the same car. I began hearing about fertility struggles from the nurses that take care of my patients. It seemed that the list of couples I knew having difficulty with getting pregnant was growing exponentially. I thought about my own friends, many requiring assistance with medication or procedures in order to conceive. And while infertility is as old as the Bible, my mother’s query rang in my ears: why are so many young women having trouble?

We’ve all heard the stereotypes about Millennials: They’re jobhoppers, they’re unhappy, they’re unmarried, they’re obsessed with brunch, etc. But how many of these are true, and how many of them are just made-up? To find out, Jack invites Lyman Stone, himself a Millennial, onto the show to use his expertise in demography and sociology to sort fact from fiction.

(Closing music excerpts “Why Generation” by FILDAR.)

Don’t let the title fool you: This is not a soap opera episode of the Young Americans. But it does cover one of the most important things in the world: children. Specifically, why young people are having fewer of them, and later. Host Jack Butler and veteran YA panelist Caleb Whitmer explore this topic with the help of two new panelists: Kayla Stetzel, and Weekly Standard factchecker Holmes Lybrand, who is now a father.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America watch in amusement as Democrats invent ridiculous arguments against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn) statement that President Donald Trump “would be a monarch if Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice.” They also worry about America’s fertility rate falling to a 42-year low and the factors contributing to the decline, such as low marriage rates and the prevalence of birth control. And they are happy to see Netflix cancel the show of the Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.

Winning through Ricochet – and Knowing What You’ve Lost

 

Ah, collagen. The most abundant protein in animals. Great for cooking into rich sauces – and glue (hence the name). It gives structure to mammals’ extracellular space. Your skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, mucous membranes, cartilage, bones, and teeth all depend on collagen for strength. When our collagen lets us down, we can expect trouble.

Several diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to scurvy, are connective-tissue diseases. Several attack our abundant collagen specifically. Sometimes, though, collagen weakens not because it’s under attack, but because it never formed right to begin with. Several genes have been identified as causing Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), congenitally weakened cartilage, and several genes remain to be discovered. The worst types of EDS are super-weird, and super-scary. Your silly-putty skin could be so loose and stretchy that it’s obvious from birth you’d be a freak-show star, pulling your neck skin over your face for strangers’ amusement. Or maybe your joints dislocate so easily you’d join the circus as a contortionist, disarticulating yourself for cold, hard cash. Or maybe EDS causes your organs to explode, far less marketable but still super-scary. Many of us, if we’ve heard of EDS at all, have more reason to think “circus freak” than “subtle.”

Member Post

 

… no, not abortion.  The real problem, of course, is the recession: A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Princeton researchers Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt quantifies just how many fewer babies were born because of the Great Recession. Their answer: at least a half a million. Preview Open

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