Infertility Linked to Cholesterol Gene in Women

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Health, Womens Health

This gene also affects progesterone production and may be the cause of infertility in a substantial number of cases of infertility. This breakthrough comes from a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US and published online in the journal Human Reproduction.

The gene responsible is the scavenger receptor class B type 1 gene (SCARB1) and this new research follows up studies in female mice that first linked a deficiency in these receptors for HDL — the so-called “good” or “healthy” cholesterol — and infertility. Now researchers report finding the same link in studies of women with a history of infertility when they analyzed ovarian cells and fluid collected from 274 women unable to become pregnant for various reasons and undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Endocrinologist Annabelle Rodriguez, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins in the USA said “Right now, the benefit of this research is in knowing that there might be a genetic reason for why some women have difficulty getting pregnant. In the future, we hope this knowledge can be translated into a cure for this type of infertility.” She believes the genetic variation could be present in 8 to 13 percent of the population and that means potentially being able to help a substantial number of women.

They researchers have also developed a simple blood test for this variation of the gene involved, but this knowledge has not so far led to any approved therapy though it would seem logical to ensure that a woman’s progesterone levels are healthy and balanced before looking to start a family.

If you want more information on natural progesterone you will find related articles at

Future Male Infertility Linked to Common Painkillers

November 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Health, Mens Health

Trying to start a family can involve many factors, but the overall health of both partners is critical. A new study throws another factor into the mix that cannot be ignored as its so common in society today.

The effect of Phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA as commonly found in plastics), and other environmental toxins has been well established as disrupting proper hormone function in humans which of course affects fertility. However, a new European study has revealed that common painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen have a far worse effect on the future reproductive health of boys.

Scientists from Denmark, Finland, and France recently published their findings in the journal Human Reproduction. Their study draws urgent attention to the serious dangers associated with painkillers as they have discovered that pregnant women who take painkiller drugs have a significantly higher risk of bearing baby boys with reproductive problems than pregnant women who do not.

Any painkiller drugs taken during the second trimester doubles the risk of having a baby boy with cryptorchidism, where the testicles do not properly descend due to inadequate testosterone production. The risk rises massively by 1600 percent if more than one painkiller is taken during the second trimester.

Dr. Henrik Leffers, senior scientist at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and author of the study explains: “A single paracetamol tablet [500mg] contains more endocrine disruptor potency than the combined exposure to the 10 most prevalent of the currently known environmental endocrine disruptors during the whole pregnancy. In fact, a single tablet will, for most women, be at least a doubling of the exposure to the known endocrine disruptors during the pregnancy and that dose comes on a single day, not spread out over nine months as with the environmental endocrine disruptors. Thus, for women using mild analgesics during the pregnancy, the mild analgesics will be by far the largest exposure to endocrine disruptors.”

This is a significant departure from the normal advice during pregnancy as taking painkiller at that time is largely considered to have no significant risks associated with it. In the study more than 57 percent of Danish mothers admitted in a telephone survey they used painkillers on a regular basis.

Male fertility is under threat in many areas: environmental toxins, excess estrogen in the food and water supply, and even laptop computers as they can heat male genitalia to temperatures so high that reproductive function becomes impaired.

If you want to start a family, or know someone who is pregnant, then please pass on this important warning.

You may also be interested to read the article by Dr Jeffrey Dach on Low Testosterone and Painkillers that you will find at my other site at

New hope for infertility treatment


It has just been reported in the Society for Endocrinology journal that the hormone kisspeptin shows promise as a potential new treatment for infertility. Research carried out at Imperial College London, have shown that giving kisspeptin to women with infertility can activate the release of sex hormones which control the menstrual cycle. For women with low sex hormone levels this could be a breakthrough for a new fertility therapy. Kisspeptin sounds like a loving form of antacid, but is actually a product of the KISS-1 gene and a key regulator of reproductive function. If we do not have this then gene, then puberty does not occur and we do not achieve sexual maturity.

The research was primarily concerned with a small group of ten women whose periods had stopped due to a hormone imbalance and who were injected with either kisspeptin or saline as a control measure. All the women gave blood samples to measure their levels of the two sex hormones essential for ovulation and fertility: luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

The group who were given the kisspeptin showed to a 48-fold increase in LH and a 16-fold increase in FSH, when compared to the control group who were given only saline. The lead researcher, Dr Waljit Dhillo, said that this discovery offers huge promise as a treatment for infertility as it suggests that kisspeptin treatment could restore reproductive function in women with low sex hormone levels.