Tag Archives: Fertility

An ancient imaging system proves to be an amazing cure for infertility!

Towards the end of the work week, Medical News Today revealed a story that looks like a miracle and something out of science fiction simultaneously. Infertility is a huge problem, with expensive, whose treatments are temperamental to say the least, fraught with emotional travails for families and other complicating issues.

And now, a single study appears to upend the problems and probably offer a simple, cost effective solution that will beat infertility right out of the cliched ball park! It is probably imprudent to get so excited, but it is hardly resistible.

Old techniques have gotten a second look in the past. Some of these techniques were trial and error prone, and many times the underlying science has not been understood. Renal Denervation is one such technique. With a surprising and incredible purchase of Ardian by Medtronic, it caused a frenzy, only to be let down by a poorly designed clinical trials. I have seen similar comebacks on old studies that controlled the Over Active Bladder condition. Therefore, one should look at any revivals of old techniques with ample caution.

Interesting Coincidences

Dr. Ben Mol, a Professor at Australia who spearheaded the study into an age old imaging technique as a possible treatment, appears to have been conceived as a result of this imaging treatment and has a younger brother! It seems remarkable that he started research intot his technique even before being made aware of his own history and relationship with the technique. Please refer to the MNT link below for more on this.

The Technique – Hysterosalpingography (HSG)

The technique, whose name is a mouthful, simply refers to imaging of the hystero, the uterus and salpingo, the fallopian tube. It was first carried out exactly 100 years ago, in 2017, just a few years after X-rays came into existence.

The procedure itself is a dye test, performed under X-ray. Water or oil are used to flush the Fallopian tubes. It is the flushing that appears to have aided fertility. In view of this notion, Dr. Ben Mol and others led a study with 1119 women, that produced interesting results.

The Study

The study, titled H2Oil was held in Netherlands, and as mentioned before, recruiting 1119 women, approximately half received HSG with oil, and as MNT put it, Lipidoil Ultra-Fluid, an iodized solution of fatty acids derived from poppy seeds.

The other half received HSG with water.

The Results

Nearly 40% of the women in the oil group, and 29% in the water group all conceived within 6 months. This is an amazing result. It shows immense promise.

Of course, more needs to be known, as I mentioned before. An underlying understanding of science, safety of flushing fallopian tubes and other important, fundamental considerations remain. However, for women and families struggling with infertility, this study shows great promise.

References: 

  1. The MNT Article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317532.php
  2. The NEJM Publication: http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1612337
  3. Image Courtesy, Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-hands-holding-baby-feet-325690/

Some secrets of the relationship between Vitamin D and Calcium Intake to Early Menopause revealed

A Cholla Dusk

Early Menopause

Early Menopause is generally detrimental to a woman’s health and mental well being. Thus it is important that factors that delay early menopause are exposed and women are prescribed appropriate remedies.

Limitations in the reported study

This particular study (link below) tried to differentiate Vitamin D and Calcium intake through food and through supplements. The article that talks about this study reveals some key limitations of the study, with respect to the number of people who take large quantities of supplements, enrolled as well as the fact that the subjects are predominantly Caucasian. Because the diet data was self-reported, that offers a problem as well. It is a little saddening to see an NIH funded study take on such a form.

They did account for factors such as smoking, alcohol, BMI etc.

For many of the explanations though, there are only theories and hypotheses offered. This, I am sure, is because it will take thorough, large scale studies before they can be proven.

Interesting Results

Despite the fact that at least the article tries to conclude that food-based intake of Calcium and Vitamin D is the primary driver of the push-back on early menopause, as opposed to supplemental intake, I am not sure the study lays this out for us to subscribe to, with enough confidence.

In general, it appears that taking in recommended levels of Calcium and Vitamin D, either through food, supplements, or in the case of Vitamin D, safe exposure to sun (a problem for Caucasians with their high risk to skin cancer, and perhaps a factor in the recruitment for the study, which if true, is perhaps explained better in the paper, which unfortunately sits behind a paid wall), reduces the risk of early menopause.

Conclusion

As stated, early menopause comes with significant health and financial burden to the women and health systems in the general. Therefore, not only should the results of such studies be used, they should be expanded to solidify evidence, and diversify it based on race and other factors.

Reference:

  1. A summary of the study: http://www.medpagetoday.com/endocrinology/menopause/65189