Tagged With pregnancy

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A teenage pregnancy prevention programme involving a baby simulator does not appear to have any long-term effect on reducing the risk of teenage pregnancy, according to the first randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of this intervention.

In fact, the study found that teenage girls who took part were more, not less, likely to become pregnant compared to girls who did not take part. Oops.

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A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that women who take antidepressants during the mid-to-late stages of their pregnancy experience an 87 per cent increased risk of having a child diagnosed with autism. Here's what the study actually found and why there's no immediate cause for alarm.

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Traditionally, expectant mothers have been excluded from clinical trials, but could this practice be doing more harm than good?

When the heart stops beating, minutes matter. With every minute that passes before a rhythm is restored, a patient's odds of survival plummet. Which is why Anne Lyerly was surprised when, one night 20 years ago, she got a phone call from a doctor who had paused in the middle of treating a patient in cardiac arrest. Lyerly was a newly minted obstetrician; the caller was an internal medicine resident who was desperately trying to resuscitate a dying patient. A pregnant dying patient. He had called because his supervisor wanted to know whether a critical cardiac drug would be safe for the woman's foetus.

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People who want to start a family but have, for whatever reason, a problem with the sperm - half of the equation - have options. There are in-vitro methods that get sperm right next to or injected directly inside an egg. There are sperm banks. Some people have friends who are willing to be sperm donors. And the internet has created a murky world of "natural inseminators" — men who will start a pregnancy for strangers with sex, no strings attached.

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I don't need to tell you there's no great birth control option right now. Hormonal contraceptives are like a carnival ride for your mood, IUDs are physical sperm-gates that need to be surgically shoved up your vaginal canal, and show me someone who tells you condoms feel good and I will show you a liar. That's why the promise of hormone-free, noninvasive birth control with a smartphone app, crazy as it sounds, is so alluring. A Swedish app called NaturalCycles almost made me a believer.

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Women have been manually tracking their cycles for centuries. You've likely heard the terms "rhythm method" or "natural family planning" from older generations; today, it's the more scientifically informed "fertility awareness". But as far as birth control options go, monitoring certain health cues to help women avoid getting pregnant still gets a bad rap — mostly because it's so subjective.

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Last year, I sat in the bathroom of an Irish pub, trying desperately to solve a maths equation. I had abandoned my friends at the bar, where I'd been pretending to drink an IPA, to tend to this pressing arithmetic in private. If I solved correctly for 'x', the answer would provide me with some crucial information — whether or not my pregnancy was going well.

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If you've never kept a diary or journal before, a pregnancy is probably a great time to start. Not only because of all the new experiences, but it will also probably come in really handy if and when you decide to have a second child. And what better place to document your thoughts than in a journal that's growing right along with you?