February 12, 2017

Does Laughing Gas Work For Managing Labor Pain?

Nitrous Oxide, better known as laughing gas, is quickly gaining interest in the United States as an option for expectant mothers to manage labor pains [1]. A recent study discovered that the use of nitrous oxide is not a very beneficial pain reliever when giving birth.

Although this innovative method may serve as an interesting and somewhat helpful method to manage labor pain, an epidural remains the most effective method. A study by Dr. Caitlin Sutton, an obstetric anesthesiology at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, points out that while nitrous oxide is gaining popularity, the majority of patients ended up requesting an epidural as well.

Furthermore, the research justified its claim by reviewing the medical records of 4700 women who delivered vaginally and only 148 of those women used nitrous oxide as their method of a pain reliever. On average, there was no change in the pain scale (0-10) before and after nitrous oxide. However, there is some promise in using nitrous oxide and more research will have to be performed to determine which women would benefit most from using laughing gas during labor.

[1] “‘Laughing Gas’ May not Ease Pain during Childbirth” Preidt, Robert. WebMd. Retrieved From: http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20161024/laughing-gas-may-not-ease-pain-during-childbirth-study

September 17, 2014

How NOT to Increase Your Sperm Count (it’s something you carry everyday)

Filed under: pregnancy,sperm — Tags: , , — drwatson @ 8:31 pm

increase_sperm_countIt is estimated that about 14% of couples in middle and high income countries have a difficult time conceiving, and several countries are seeing declines in semen quality that can’t be explained. A relatively new study has published evidence that carrying cell phones in your pocket can negatively affect the semen quality of men.

While many  men may not realize it, they might be inadvertently reducing the quality of their semen via consistent exposure to RF-EMR (or “Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation”). This was suggested by the University of Exeter in the UK, who later went on to post their research in the Environmental International journal.

The study was conducted by Doctor Fiona Mathews, who is an experienced lecturer in the field of mammalian biology. Together with her team, they carried out over 10 studies that had showed how semen quality could be affected due to cell phones being too close to the proximity of the area where semen are produced.

They pooled together over 1,500 semen samples from men attending research centers and fertility clinics. The researchers analyzed three different areas of spear quality:

  • Concentration (the number of sperm per unit)
  • Viability (the proportion of the sperm)
  • Motility (the ability for the sperm to get around and towards an egg)

From the control group, sperm showed between 50 and 85% motility. However, this fell to about 8% on average where there had been a heavy exposure to cell phones. This was according to researchers. The results for overall sperm concentration remained unclear. Nonetheless, there was enough evidence to suggest that there was a correlation between the two.

According to Doctor Mathews, the evidence “strongly suggests” that consistent exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation in trouser pockets can reduce the overall quality of sperm. More specifically, it can lower sperm motility to only 8%! Whether or not this could actually affect infertility is unclear.

However, it is important to note that the quality of the sperm does go down, which can lead to clinical implications later, although this has yet to be proven in the research. The researchers performed a variety of tests, each of which were consistent with their original hypothesis. They were conducted under controlled conditions, and included men that were in the general population.

The researchers concluded that the evidence from these long-term studies utilized a randomized controlled trial in the general population, and it is for these reasons that one should consider the conclusions being quite strong. Mobile phones are exposing men to a higher risk of infertility in regards to semen quality, which is something that men should start considering as they move forward in today’s cell phone-dominated world.

Other studies have also suggested that being stressed can also reduce semen quality in men. While researchers did not investigate the underlying reasons, they did have good reason to think why this is true – the release of “glucocorticoids”, which is basically a hormone that could negatively affect semen quality. It’s just one more reason to avoid stress in today’s fast-paced society as a man.

August 10, 2009

Sperm Travels Faster in Attractive Women

Despite popular belief, males actually can adjust the speed their sperm travels after ejaculation in a woman. A new study has found that men can control the speed and efficiency of their sperm by distributing more or less seminal fluid to their semen.

How do men control their sperm? The trigger is entirely dependent on the attractiveness of the female.The study found that males, no matter how promiscuous, can mate with many different females; however their chances of fertilization are greater if the female companion is considered attractive.The researches collected natural ejaculates from dominant and subordinate males at the University of Stockholm who had just mated with either an attractive or unattractive female.

According to the study’s co-author Charlie Cornwallis from the University of Oxford, “Female attractiveness is determined by the expression of a sexual ornament – the comb – which is phenotypically and genetically correlated to the number and mass of eggs females lay”.

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