A new study from Denmark has found that three out of every four women starting fertility treatment will have a baby within five years, whether as a result of the treatment or by getting pregnant naturally. The study looked at the records of nearly 20,000 Danish women having fertility treatment, and found that more than half had a baby within two years and 71% after five years. Most had their children as a result of fertility treatment, but 14% got pregnant without treatment.
The researchers found that age made a significant difference when it came to whether women were going to have a child – after five years, 80% of women under 35 had given birth compared with 60.5% of women aged 35-40 and 26% of women who were 40 or above. You can read more about the study here.
There’s often an assumption that vitamins can only ever be good for you, and more and more fertility patients are taking more and more supplements of all kinds of different vitamins. Now, a new study from Denmark suggests that taking high doses of vitamin D supplements may actually reduce the chances of getting pregnant.
This wasn’t a huge trial as fewer than 200 women took part, but they were all planning a pregnancy and all had low levels of vitamin D. They were given different doses of vitamin D supplement and some were given placebos. The researchers found that there was a significantly lower pregnancy rate among the women in the group given the higher vitamin D dose – for the lower dose, there wasn’t a marked difference. You can read more about the study here
We always hear about the need for women to maintain a healthy weight for reproduction, but new evidence from Denmark shows that information relating to a man’s weight is passed to his children in his sperm and that this could make them more likely to be obese themselves.
The researchers tested the sperm of obese men who were going through weight-loss surgery and found that there were changes in their sperm afterwards. The changes they found in the sperm were linked to the genes which relate to appetite control and brain development.
This was a very small study so would need more research, but it does suggest that it really is important for men to do all that they can to keep fit and healthy when they are trying to conceive. You can find the summary of the article, published in the Journal Cell Metabolism, here.
If you’ve used donor sperm from Denmark, would you be prepared to talk about this for a BBC Radio documentary? It is possible to do this anonymously if you’d prefer. If you think you may be interested or would like to know more, you can get in touch through the contact page on the blog.