Monday, February 27, 2012

Endocrine-Hormone Disrupting Chemicals and Reproductive Health

A large number of widely used substances (pesticides, common household items and chemicals, industrial chemicals, metals) have been shown to have estrogen-mimicking and other endocrine-hormone disrupting effects, including;

2,4-D is applied to grassy crops such as wheat, home and public lawns and gardens, and on roadsides, golf courses, forests and waterways.

Permethrin is an insecticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers. It has multiple uses, including head lice and scabies treatments, insect repellents, household insect foggers and sprays, tick and flea sprays for yards and pets, termite treatments, agricultural and livestock products, mosquito abatement, forestry and treatment of timber.

Dioxins are byproducts of manufacture involving chlorine. They are formed during combustion and during the production of chemical compounds containing chlorine, such as pesticides and PCBs. The production and use of some chlorinated chemicals, bleaching of paper, and waste incineration, including the uncontrolled burning of residential waste, are the major sources of dioxins. Reproductive effects, including decreased sperm production, decreased testis weight, decreased testosterone levels, delayed puberty, and endometriosis have been observed in laboratory animals.

Phthalates. Studies have found damaged, shrunken, undescended, or atrophied testicles; reduced sperm production; damaged sperm, destruction of Sertoli cells (which produce sperm) and lowered testosterone levels in offspring. Phthalates are used as softeners, or plasticizers, in polyvinyl chloride (PVC, vinyl) products, including children's toys, some teethers, food packaging and cling wraps, medical devices, backpacks, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wallpaper, decorating and building products, blood bags, adhesives, mosquito insect repellents, plastic plumbing pipes, nail polish, skin moisturizers, perfumes, solvents, cosmetics, personal care products, wood finishes and insecticides.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element, considered a heavy metal. It is used as a preservative in wood (e.g., pressure-treated lumber- decks, fences, playground equipment, and residential construction), insecticides, weed killers, fungicides, glass production, semiconductors, to make metal alloys (used in lead-acid car batteries, for example), some medications, and home and agricultural fertilizers.

Lead. The most significant sources of lead continue to be old paint in homes built before 1978, lead pipes placed before the 1930s, and soil by highways and heavily traveled roads. Reproductive effects including decreased fertility, increased rates of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, low birth weight, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, abnormal sperm shape and size.

Mercury. The most common organic form of mercury accumulates in the flesh of fish, animals and humans, most particularly predatory fish species, such as shark and tuna, and bottom-feeders, such as crab. Animals exposed orally to long-term, high levels in laboratory studies experienced adverse effects on the developing fetus, sperm, and male reproductive organs; and increases in the number of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths.

Reproductive Health Bill: Einstein's Perspective

Einstein once said, "Science without Religion is lame, Religion without Science is blind." Correlating this with the Reproductive Health Bill will give us a lot of view points why it must be put into an act. So here a little bit of science behind our situation right now.

View Point 1: Overpopulation

The Scope of the Problem

In 2010, the population of the Philippines is 94,013,200* ranking us 12th among all the nations in the world and higher than any nation in Europe. Well, this is just a pretty dumb number. Do we really have to be alarmed? Yes, because this marks a 22% growth for just a decade and a growth rate of approximately 2% per year, the highest among the members of the ASEAN. What's more alarming is that by 2050, our population is expected to reach more than 128 million.

Now, should we blame the government for this? The obvious answer is yes and then we'll keep on rallying repeating the same predicaments that the Government is doing nothing, being blind to our nation's situation. Now that they are onto something good, people are still rallying. Only that this time, they are raising about the moral grounds of our society and that it's against the church. This is absurd, who can cite me the complete framework of the morals of our society and who should decide for us. I don't think anyone has the right to establish fixed moral grounds of our society, it must change according to the demands, and I don't like it when the church argues on matters concerning artificial methods because they are aware of our worsening situation.

Einstein Thought:

Of the one thing I feel certain: this same technical progress which, in itself, might relieve mankind of the great part of the labor necessary to its subsistence is the main cause of our present misery. Hence there are those who would in all seriousness forbid the introduction of technical improvements. This is obviously absurd. But how can we find a more rational way out of our dilemma? (Albert Einstein, 1934)

Reflection:

The above proposition can be reiterated using another thought from Einstein: "The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation." What this suggests is that with the recent configuration of how we implement family planning and how we encourage the usage of natural methods, overpopulation will remain a problem. What else can we expect from these unreliable and restrictive methods? Albeit these methods may delimit individuals and allow them to have self-discipline, still we cannot hide the fact that human by nature craves for the things that he is forbidden. Let us just face the truth that we cannot mitigate this problem if we stick with the old terms. We are in a situation where their must be a concrete, efficient and flawless plan. One thing is sure with RH Bill passed, the people will grow awareness and will understand that we have a choice.

*Medium Assumption - National Statistics Office. 2000 Census-based Population Projection in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Working Group on Population Projections

5 Tips For Better Male Reproductive Health

Fertility is not a subject that routinely crosses the minds of most males. As a matter of fact, men rarely give a moment's thought to the actual health of their sperm. But if you plan on ever fathering children, you should not only be aware of your reproductive health, you need to take every precaution to protect it.

Here are five simple tips for every man to consider. These guidelines may seem simple or obvious, but they could very well prove instrumental in safeguarding and enhancing your overall reproductive health. They may even ensure the well-being of your future children.

1. Quit Smoking. While lighting up a butt these days is deemed "politically incorrect" by the masses, old habits are still very hard to break for longtime smokers. But here are some facts for you to consider. Cigarette smoking is linked to low sperm counts, and research shows a 64% increase in miscarriages when both partners smoke or when only the man smokes.

2. Cut Down on Your Alcohol. Not only does chronic alcohol abuse increase estrogen levels within the body, it can also seriously damage the reproductive system. Once this occurs, your ability to produce normally-formed sperm cells is radically reduced.

3. Increase Your Daily Dose of Vitamin C. Why do you think your mom always nagged you about "taking your vitamins"? Low levels of Vitamin C may cause your sperm to clump together, a phenomenon that renders almost 16% of all men infertile. So increase your daily dose of multi-vitamins, especially Vitamin C.

4. Keep Your Scrotum Cool. You think I'm making a joke here? It's absolutely true that excessive heat in the scrotal area can result in lower sperm count volume. If you're in the "baby-making" stages of your relationship, it would be wise to avoid hot tubs, hot baths, saunas, and warm stifling work environments. Also, no intense exercising. Men who exercise excessively run the risk of reducing their sperm count due to the heat that builds up around the testicles during overly-strenuous workouts. Furthermore, you should avoid wearing tight jockey shorts and jogging pants. Loose-fitting underwear is a great option whenever possible.

5. Finally, Abstain from Sex. Okay, admittedly, this one may be tough for a lot of guys! But brief periods of sexual restraint (three to six days) will increase both the volume and potency of semen. However, don't abstain for very long periods. Prolonged abstinence results in higher volume of older sperm, which in turns exhibits decreased mobility.

In addition to the tips above, you can also purchase natural herbal supplements that help increase semen production. Zinc and L-Arginine are two extremely potent (and popular) herbs that can boost overall fertility, as well as heighten your sex drive! There are many products available online which contain fertility supplements.

Come on guys. Be more knowledgeable about your general health. Look out for yourself. And in doing so, you'll also be looking out for your future "chips off the old block".

What to Expect at a Reproductive Health Center

A reproductive health center is a facility that is designed to help individuals and couples experiencing infertility find relief. This may be a troubling condition for many experiencing it, making counseling important along with the treatment process. Many reproductive centers now offer stress relief treatments and exercises as well as counseling services along with the fertility treatments and procedures that are normally available at many clinics.

When you first seek consultation at a reproductive health center after experiencing infertility, you will likely be asked several questions regarding your health and medical history, as well as personal questions about your attempts at conception. Be open with the fertility specialist and make sure you find one with whom you feel comfortable discussing these matters. Keep in mind also that these specialists deal with these issues every day and understand patients' reluctance or hesitation to discuss personal matters.

In many cases, tests may be performed in an attempt to pinpoint the problem so that a solution may be worked out. Ask your specialist about the different tests being performed to help you understand the process. Diagnostic tests such as semen analysis, ultrasounds and cycle monitoring may be used to help determine the cause of infertility for many individuals and couples. Clinics may also investigate the possible causes of recurrent pregnancy loss if this is an issue. If the tests reveal the cause of the infertility, the specialist may recommend various treatment or procedure options and explore these options with the couple or individual.

Some of the more common fertility treatments available at many reproductive health centers include in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). In vitro fertilization involves the combination of sperm and eggs in a dish in a laboratory to create embryos, which are then transferred to the uterus where they may implant in the uterine wall and develop. Intrauterine insemination involves the direct injection of sperm into the uterus where it may fertilize the egg to create an embryo, which may then implant in the uterine lining and develop.

A variety of treatments and procedures may be available to treat various possible causes of infertility. These include endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), among many others. Male infertility may also be treated at many clinics. To help patients through what can be a difficult time, many clinics now offer counseling or stress-relieving exercises such as yoga or fertility massage to help patients relax and manage their stress.

Natural Fertility Options Boost Reproductive Health - 3 Secrets Towards a Baby Bump

If you want to get pregnant, you should be ready to work for it. There are times that you have to consider ways to achieve Natural Fertility just by changing your life-style. You can Boost Reproductive Health without taking prescribed medications. Do not continue to stress yourself since a high amount of stress hinders you from becoming pregnant no matter how you religiously follow your fertile days.

As you might already know, an active and healthy lifestyle is necessary for Natural Fertility Options. Boost Reproductive Health so you do not have to waste all your life savings with methods that do not work. Here are 3 secrets that have been guarded for years by women who have successfully produced healthy children without any health problems:

1) Aromatherapy
Stress-busting scents to make you feel so relaxed and at the same time pampered increases the chances of getting pregnant. Studies show that when women's stress levels are lowered and normalized, their bodies give off hormones that strengthen their reproductive capabilities. Since spa treatments are expensive, there are flower extract oils your partner can use to massage your body with.

2) Herbal Supplements
They may cost you but if the only goal you have right now is to get pregnant, Natural Fertility Options Boost Reproductive Health such as taking herbal supplements that increases the pregnancy hormone called progesterone. This will further treat the imbalance in your body and help reverse infertility to fertility in a month's time.

3) Oriental Acupuncture
Pressure points in your body are pricked with needles to increase your chances of getting pregnant. This will awaken your reproductive organs and get them ready for conception.

Women Reproductive Health

A woman gives birth to a child and therefore she is considered to be the originator of life. She is responsible for providing a healthy living and her general health as well as women health reproductive is of prime importance. A rise in number of women death rate because of STD (sexually transmitted diseases) and unintended pregnancies can't be overlooked. It is important that she goes through safe motherhood while bearing a child or even when she contributes to other normal duties of life.

For this it is important to know that what Women reproductive health is. What factors should be considered by a woman for her sexual health? Are methods such as contraception, sterilization enough to avoid any health hazards to her health?

Women Sexual Health - What health activities to be incorporated?
Contraception is way to prevent pregnancy even after a sexual intercourse. Pills, barrier methods such as female condoms, using uterine contraceptive device, a plastic or copper device fitted in the womb of a women are some of the common methods to avoid unintended pregnancies.

Health Hazards- Infertility: Infertility is the disability of a woman where she is unable to conceive even after performing sexual intercourse. It happens when she has abnormal menstrual cycles, feels pain while sexual intercourse or has passed through a chronic illness or miscarriage.

Other Diseases: Chlamydia, Endometriosis is some diseases that cause inflammation or burning sensation in cervix and other fertility and reproduction related problems. Sometimes these diseases cause internal bleeding and injury.

Methods such as contraception, sterilization are taken for safety from sexually transmitted diseases and hazards but one should always be careful that having unsafe sex with more partners would lead to any of the deadly diseases.

Treatments- Infertility could be treated by way of fertilization whereby eggs from a female donor are fertilized in a laboratory with a male sperm and then transplanted into recipient's uterus. Other forms are medication through birth control pills and other fertility drugs. Ovulation Induction uses fertility drugs with the help of artificial insemination to stimulate development of egg.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reproductive Health Bill - Solution For Growing Population?

Reproductive Health Bill is national in scoop, comprehensive; right based adequate funding of population program. However, this bill had not been signed since the time of President Corazon Aquino and up to the present term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo it was not approved. People from all walks of life have their own opinion about the bill, some are against it but there are those who supported it. Some says that the Catholic Church is behind the rejection of the bill. I thought that the Reproductive Health Bill could help many people especially those who lived in depressed areas who have many children. A woman who hasn't learned about family planning often gives birth, so the fatality encountered by the mother and baby is very high. A poor household consisting of nine or more persons would cause difficulty in managing their income. In addition, the present economic crises we are experiencing worsen their situation in life.

Using contraceptives are more effective compared to rhythmic method. For example, using calendar is not applicable at all time because if the woman has an irregular menstruation, it might affect the menstruation cycle. Using contraceptive like's pills; I.U.D. and condoms are safe tools to avoid unwanted pregnancy. The contraceptive injection is a good tool in avoiding unwanted pregnancy and it also prevent the risk of having cervical cancer.

The church is against the Reproductive Health Bill because they said that it contradicts the teachings of God. I thought that was only applicable before when there were only few people living on Earth, but now it's not appropriate to follow that teaching. When I saw poverty around me, I felt sad especially when I saw children at a very young age working, instead of going to school. Some children are forced, to work to augment their family daily income.

Furthermore, I am with the side of the people who agree in the Reproductive Health Bill, because I think that it can help many people especially the poor and those who are ignorant about the proper family planning method usage. Seminars can be held frequently in rural community and far places. Sufficient fund can help in buying contraceptives to be given to those who are in need. Population control can be monitored closely due to sufficient fund. Promotion of breast feeding among mothers can also be encouraged. Abortion can be minimize and lessen from the knowledge gained about Reproductive Health Bill.