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Analysis and Comment (25)

I’ll have a clean cage with a side of fertility issues. Mouse image via www.shutterstock.com

Common disinfectants impair mouse fertility

Mice possess a notable talent: they are excellent at making more mice. Their ability to reproduce at a breakneck pace is one reason they are often used as experimental research subjects. Thus, when Dr…
By 2100 there could be 11 billion people on Earth, but there’s no quick way to slow growth. James Cridland/Flickr

No quick fix for overpopulation — let’s focus on climate

The rise in population since 1900 has been so rapid that up to 14% of all humans that have ever lived are still alive today, according to recent research. Other research shows that slowing population growth…
Getting a leg over in 1989. Gavin Andrew Stewart

Children born just after the Berlin Wall fell were lower achievers – here’s why

Germany and the rest of Europe are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the associated communist regimes in Eastern Europe. This event had colossal repercussions in the…
Timing matters. Stacey Newman/Shutterstock

Health Check: how to get pregnant

For couples trying to conceive, the chance of this happening within a year depends on their age. The monthly chance of pregnancy for couples where the woman is 35 years or younger is about 20% and 80-90…
It all comes down to egg supply. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: what causes women’s fertility to decline with age?

We’ve known for over 50 years that reproductive ageing results in a gradual loss of fertility until about age 37, when the rate of decline accelerates dramatically. The loss of fertility is accompanied…
Women’s ability to conceive and give birth to healthy babies starts to decline before the age of 30. Image from shutterstock.com

Health Check: when does fertility decline?

It’s said that “40 is the new 30” and “50 is the new 40”. But, when it comes to female fertility, 40 is still 40, and the likelihood of successful pregnancy and childbirth has notably decreased from age…
No-one wants to hear about the failures and financial costs. Paul Stevenson

Desperate couples are misled by only positive reports of IVF

Reflecting on her imminent departure as head of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the body that regulates IVF and fertility services, Lisa Jardine said in an interview last week that “nobody…
Way before the birds and the bees. Jpogi

New fertility treatment brings hope, but not for all

It’s Nobel season and who could forget IVF pioneer Sir Robert Edwards who won the accolade for medicine in 2010? More than ever before, reproductive medicine is throwing up new treatments and answers to…
Women are generally comfortable with post-sex contraceptives but anti-abortion campaigners aren’t. WarmSleepy

Politics of the pill: why we don’t have better contraceptives

More than 50 years after Australian women first had access to the oral contraceptive pill, research into new contraceptives has stalled and women are stuck with new versions of old products to manage their…
Kate Garraway: a successful older mum. PA/Cathal McNaughton

Don’t lecture older mums for problems made by men

The Get Britain Fertile “campaign”, funded by a pregnancy testing company and fronted by television presenter Kate Garraway, aims to get women to think about having children when they’re younger. But later…
Infertility, high blood pressure, varicose viens and back pain have been attributed to leg crossing – but what does the evidence say? Image from shutterstock.com

Monday’s medical myth: crossing your legs is bad for your health

Almost everyone crosses their legs, whether it’s conscious or unconscious, for custom, for comfort, for effect, to stop your legs splaying, to take pressure off a foot, or for no reason at all. But is…
Kate Middleton’s path to motherhood, like any woman’s, could take unexpected turns. AAP

The perils of announcing a pregnancy in public

After weeks of speculation about the contents of her uterus, it was revealed overnight that Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is indeed pregnant. However, Catherine is in the early weeks of her…
Those who know the identity of their donor from a young age are less likely to experience psychological problems. Ron Wiecki

Rights of donor children must come before egg donation compensation

University of Tasmania academic Meredith Nash recently argued on The Conversation that women who donate their eggs for fertility treatments should be financially compensated. It’s a risky and time-consuming…
Paying up to $5,000 in a carefully regulated market would recognise the inconveniences associated with donation. misterbenben

Women who donate their eggs deserve compensation – here’s why

Women are generally born with about a million eggs. Yet, women with reproductive problems or “older” women (over the age of 40) often cannot conceive with their own eggs. The solution is to use donor eggs…
Some women question the long-term impact of the contraceptive pill on their fertility. J. Stephen Conn

Monday’s medical myth: the pill affects long-term fertility

The combined oral contraceptive pill is the most popular form of contraception in Australia and is taken by an estimated 100 million women worldwide. The pill’s most obvious use is to prevent pregnancy…
Back, sperm, back: a human egg on the tip of a pin. Flickr/wellcome images

Squaring up to difficult truths: how to reduce the population

Elephants in the room, part two For all our schemes and mantras about making our lives environmentally “sustainable”, humanity’s assault on the planet not only continues but expands. What are the deep…
Tight underwear may increase scrotal temperature but there’s no evidence to show it reduces fertility. AAP

Monday’s medical myth: wearing tight undies will make you infertile

Most men have a preference for boxers or briefs, but which are better when it comes to fertility? Many things can affect a man’s ability to make or transport sperm, including sexually transmitted infections…
Inherited only from mothers, the mitochondria may harbour male-harming mutations. ddc c z/flickr

Could ‘mother’s curse’ cause male infertility?

As many as a one in 20 men is infertile, but in many cases the underlying cause for it remains unknown. Recent research has found that a peculiarity in the way in which the DNA inside our mitochondria…

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