Increased Risk of Metabolic Diseases in Infertile Men

infertility risksA study presented at a conference held in Munich, Germany has revealed the possibility that almost 1/3rd of men who suffer from infertility problems are at an increased risk of developing metabolic diseases as they age.

Infertility is a Common Issue

Before we even get to the study background & results, it’s important to understand that roughly fifteen percent of all couples will experience infertility. Infertility is the inability to become impregnated, which can be the result of a combination if different factors, however in most infertile couples around half of these cases are due to male infertility. Studies have already shown that men with poor semen quality experience a shorter life expectancy.

Study Background

In the study, a group of 192 men with a low sperm count were compared with 199 men with age-matched controls. Variables such as sex hormone levels, bone mineral density, and HbA1c (which is a biomarker for diabetes) were factored in to the comparison.

The study found that in men under 50 with fertility issues, sex hormone levels (i.e. low testosterone) were really low and this was 7 times as common as amongst the men in control groups. The study also noted that in these men with low sex hormone levels, low bone density levels were found, as well as elevated glucose levels and insulin resistance leaving these men susceptible to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

Here’s what the study leader had to say in reference to the findings:

“We found that a significant proportion of men from infertile couples show biochemical signs of hypogonadism. This may be affecting their fertility, but they can also serve as early warning signs for metabolic diseases in later life, such as osteoporosis or diabetes. We would recommend that levels of reproductive hormones should be checked in all men seeking advice for fertility problems. Those at risk of serious disease should be followed after the completion of fertility treatment.”

Dr. Torbati obstetrician tarzanaDr. Torbati Addresses Infertility Issues

Dr. Torbati addresses infertility issues in Tarzana and surrounding areas. His consultations are all private and personal for a comfortable experience. You can expect to be treated with care at his office. Both partners are evaluated. Dr. Torbati is board-certified and possesses ample experience as an OB-GYN.

Flu Vaccines Highly Effective for Pregnant Women & Children

flu vaccine for pregnancyFlu is the leading cause of death from a vaccine-preventable disease in the US, responsible for 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations. The greatest burden of disease is among expectant mothers, kids, elderly citizens, and people with certain medical conditions. The highest incidence of influenza-related hospitalization among children is for infants below the age of 1 year, especially those aged less than 6 months.

The WHO and CDC Recommend the Flu Shot

Consequently, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends influenza vaccination for all pregnant women regardless of the trimester, as well as for children, except for infants aged less than 6 months and individuals with a severe allergy to egg protein. Since the flu vaccine is inactivated, it does not pose any safety concerns to pregnant women.

In addition, the vaccine has been found to be very successful in preventing flu and related complications in expectant women and the baby, for a short time (6 months) after birth. According to a study published in the Journal of General Virology, an infant’s concentration of flu antibodies at birth correlates with that of the mother. Higher concentrations of flu antibodies in the infant resulted in the delayed onset and lower severity of influenza infection.

Risks of Complications from Flu

Influenza is known to cause more severe complications in expectant mothers than in non-expectant women. Changes in their immune system, lungs, and heart during pregnancy make expectant mothers (as well as women up to two weeks post-partum) more susceptible to serious illness from influenza, resulting in hospitalization and even death. Flu-related complication can also cause serious problems before birth, like birth defects and premature labor and delivery.

Administering the influenza vaccine to expectant mothers during their second and third trimesters has been shown to increase seroprotection against all strains of flu for most women, and more than half of their newborns. However, the protective levels against the flu completely disappears within 6 months in the newborn; hence, the requirement by the CDC that all persons above the age of 6 months get an annual influenza vaccination.

Points to note about the flu shot:

  • The influenza shot is one of the most critical things for a pregnant woman during her prenatal care, irrespective of the trimester.
  • The inactivated flu shot, with or without the preservative thimerosal, is safe for pregnant mothers, and the protection extends to the newborn for a period of up to 6 months, protecting the baby against acute respiratory infections and bipolar disorder.
  • The flu shot is claimed to reduce the risk of stillbirths/miscarriages, as well as other birth complications like an underweight baby or preterm birth.

Early treatment for influenza is critical for pregnant women. So, if you notice flu-like symptoms, contact your doctor immediately for the safety of your child.

Recent Phenomenon: Understanding the Zika Virus

understanding zika virus symptomsThe “Zika” virus has been quite the phenomenon lately going around the world. Understanding it can help you stay in the loop and make sure you are out of harm’s way.

Exactly what is the “Zika” virus?

It is a virus that occurs from the result of mosquitoes that carry the virus. This virus has been reported to cause these symptoms:

• Fever
• Rash
• Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
• Joint pain

The symptoms being to appear roughly two weeks after exposure to the virus. However, it is estimated that 80% of those infected do not even experience any symptoms.

Pregnant women that contract this virus are at risk of having children born with a disorder known as microcephaly, as well as other Zika-induced birth defects. Pregnant women are at the most risk, but non-pregnant women may still experience the symptoms above.

Where is the virus currently?

The virus has been spreading across the globe, with a few cases occurring in the United States as a result of those traveling from outside the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel warning for pregnant women to the following places:

• South America
• Central America
• Mexico
• Caribbean
• Puerto Rico
• Pacific Islands

The list is updated often so if you are pregnant and plan on traveling soon, view this list first.

How can I prevent this virus?

The best way to prevent this virus at this time is to avoid traveling to the locations that are at risk as specified the CDC. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment developed for the Zika virus.

Also, if you do decide to travel to an affected area, it is strongly recommended that you invest in insect repellant and follow the manufacturer’s directions.