Posts tagged ‘pregnancy’
Interview study designed to investigate association between mode of first delivery and subsequent fertility
Ongoing research at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center explores the effect of caesarian section on subsequent fertility. In previous studies conducted in countries throughout the world it was discovered that mothers who deliver by caesarian section are less likely to have subsequent children for reasons that are not clear. “This is a mystery that we need to understand,” said principal investigator Kristen H. Kjerulff, Ph.D. Most researchers in this subject area survey women retrospectively—after the birth has taken place—or review very large data sets that do not indicate the reasons why the caesarian section option was chosen and why the women did not have more children. Kjerulff’s First Baby Study is novel in that it interviews pregnant women before they have their first baby and then at multiple points over the course of a three-year period, to see how mode of first delivery (cesarean, instrumental, or vaginal) affects subsequent childbearing and, if so, why.
This study has enrolled more than 3,000 women from all parts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Kjerulff and her colleagues sought a diverse population across socioeconomic strata, racial and ethnic groups, and insured/uninsured populations. They recruited participants from hospital ob-gyn clinics; Nurse-Family Partnership programs; child birth education classes; low-income patient clinics; private ob-gyn practices; hospital tour groups; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program offices; and Medicaid programs. Researchers from the various hospitals around the state helped enroll and consent women interested in participating in the study, reviewed data, and provided advice on various aspects of the study.
When talk turns to critical health issues among women, common issues such as the appropriateness of the recent controversial mammography guidelines get the most attention. However, an often overlooked health issue that is becoming more common among female patients receives little attention in these discussions. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is becoming one of the most common female endocrine disorders and affects an estimated 5-10 percent of women between the ages of 12 and 45.
The condition develops when a woman’s ovaries produce excessive amounts of male hormones, typically testosterone, either through the release of excessive luteinizing hormone by the anterior pituitary gland or from hyperinsulinaemia in women whose ovaries are particularly sensitive to this particular syndrome.
One of the nation’s leaders in the study of PCOS is Richard S. Legro, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, a recognized expert in the area of reproductive endocrinology. Legro, who completed his medical studies at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine with a residency at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellowship at the University of Southern California, has coauthored two significant PCOS studies in 2010 alone: “Associations of birth weight and gestational age with reproductive and metabolic phenotypes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and their first-degree relatives” (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010 Feb; 95:789–99), and “Family-Based Analysis of Candidate Genes for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010 Mar 3; e-pub ahead of print), and is presenting four papers on PCOS projects at this year’s Annual Endocrine Society Meeting in San Diego. (more…)