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Of Mice And Men: Tips To Improve Male Fertility

Today NPR ran a story about fierce competition and cooperation among mouse sperm cells trying to fertilize an ovum. Apparently spermatozoa from the same male will often clump together, wiggling their flagella in a collective swim that accelerates the group faster towards an egg. In the race to be the first sperm to fertilize an egg this team approach (with sperm of a feather flocking together) may confer an evolutionary advantage. Solo-swimmers move more leisurely. The research and cool video presented on NPR were of sperm from the promiscuous deer mouse.  Such murine sperm “behavior” may not be as evolutionarily needed in (usually) less promiscuous humans. Yet the idea of sperm cooperation, fitness, and competition in a microscopic steeplechase is fascinating. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Examining Room of Dr. Charles*

What Women May Not Know About Their Fertility

I can’t tell you the number of times women in their mid 40′s come to me and announce “Well, I’m ready to get pregnant”. Putting off pregnancy is understandable in our times. Women are building their careers, moving and traveling, going through a series of “Mr. Wrongs” and looking for the best baby-daddy. Women have thought that fertility was a given and they could get pregnant when the time was right. But, sadly, what they haven’t been told is the cruel trick of nature. Fertility doctors know…after age 29 your chance of having a baby without medical treatment is diminishing every year. After age 40 there is a precipitous drop.

To bring that fact home, check this out. A woman age 19-26 has a 50% chance of getting pregnant during any one menstrual cycle if she has intercourse two days prior to ovulation. For women age 27-34 the chance was 40% and after age 35 it drops to 30%. And at 40 you are only 1/2 as fertile as you were at 35. That is a sharp drop off! Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Is It Safe To Use Metformin During Conception and Pregnancy?

The following recent query requested my opinion regarding the safety of metformin during the periconceptual period and throughout pregnancy. Although there are not many large or comprehensive studies addressing these concerns, the bulk of the data available to us is encouraging…

Dr. T,

Quick opinion if you don’t mind. As you may recall, I miscarried on 9/12. I have since seen my PCP for a regular check-up. He prescribed me Metformin….he believes based on my history, weight, blood work and family history, my body may have issues with the breakdown of sugars (i.e., type 2 diabetes but I’m not diagnosed with that). He said that it also may have some positive side effects for me including weight loss and assistance in helping me to conceive (although that doesn’t appear to be a problem since I WAS able to get pregnant even though I miscarried). He says it is completely safe.

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This post, Is It Safe To Use Metformin During Conception and Pregnancy?, was originally published on Healthine.com by Kenneth Trofatter, M.D., Ph.D..

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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