Zinc deficiency may harm egg development, study finds

Ovulation disorders are a leading cause of female infertility. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have found that zinc deficiency can negatively affect the early stages of egg development, reducing the ability of the egg cells to divide and be fertilized. This may affect fertility months in the future.

The availability of micronutrients in the ovarian environment and their influence on the development, viability and quality of egg cells (oocytes) is the focus of a growing area of research. Multiple factors can influence whether a given oocyte will mature correctly and one day be ovulated, including the presence of sufficient levels of certain micronutrients.

More and more evidence is accumulating that zinc is a key player in oocyte development, the researchers said. They assessed the effects of zinc on egg development extremely early on in the oocyte maturation process. They found that zinc deficiency:

  • disrupted growth of cells in culture
  • led to smaller egg cells early in development
  • caused problems with development of somatic cells and elevated certain cell markers
  • impaired the egg cell’s ability to properly divide (meiosis), a necessary step before successful fertilization can occur. This defect persisted even after more zinc was introduced to the environment.

Populations at risk for zinc deficiency include people with dietary and disease factors that also affect zinc status such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, gastrointestinal disorders and liver disease; women facing food insecurity; or women with certain dietary restrictions, such as vegetarians or vegans who don’t take supplemental zinc.

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“Sad to go—but I am pregnant!”

“Dr. Mensah has been extremely helpful and caring throughout this process.”

“I can’t thank all the doctors and staff enough for all they did for my husband and I during our infertility journey. Today is my last day with them and I’m sad to go but I am pregnant! So stay hopeful and trust them with your whole heart!”

We helped these patients achieve their dreams, and we can do the same for you. Read more reviews like these on our web site.

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How can you participate in National Women’s Health Week?

During National Women’s Health Week each year, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The week serves as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life.

The 19th annual National Women’s Health Week is celebrated through May 19, 2018. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health leads National Women’s Health Week to encourage all women to be as healthy as possible.

The Office on Women’s Health invites you to:

  • Learn what steps you can take for good health, no matter your age.
  • Take the National Women’s Health Week quiz to see how much you know about healthy living.
  • Show your friends how you’re making your health a priority with our easy-to-use social media resources. Use the #NWHW hashtag.
  • Show your support for women’s health by joining the National Women’s Health Week Thunderclap.
  • Organize events or activities in your community.

To learn how, go to Womenshealth.gov.

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Celebrate Women’s Health Week, and get healthy!

During National Women’s Health Week each year, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The week serves as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life.

The 19th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 13, and is celebrated through May 19, 2018. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health leads National Women’s Health Week to encourage all women to be as healthy as possible.

To improve your physical and mental health, you can:

  • Visit a doctor or nurse for a well-woman visit (checkup) and preventive screenings.
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

Learn more about Women’s Mental Health Week at WomensHealth.gov.

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“The BEST in NJ!”

“Dr. Martinez and his ENTIRE staff are not just excellent professionals, they are caring and compassionate from the very first visit to the last. Always made me feel at ease and took their time to answer all of my questions thoroughly. Dr. Martinez is just genuinely nice and personable, listens to your concerns, remembers who you are and you never feel being rushed out of the office. The nurses (who are so nice, professionals & knowledgeable) follow up with all your medical needs, return your phone calls promptly and have an organized and detailed system of your meds protocol. The girls at the front desk always welcome you with a smile and the billing department took care of my insurance (one less thing to worry about). I felt very confident from day one that I was in great hands!!! I will forever be grateful for helping my dream come true!!! I highly recommend this facility as it is the BEST in NJ!!!”

Thank you to this patient, who posted such kind words about us. You can read more like this one at our web site.

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Upcoming events to help Paint the Town Pink

Paint the Town Pink is a community-wide effort presented by Hackensack Meridian Health to raise awareness of the importance of annual mammograms and women’s overall health and wellness. There are many ways to do that, including attending these upcoming events:

Pinktown Yoga

May 9, 2018 @ 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Eatontown Community Center

Show your support and wear PINK to Yoga class during the month of May to attend the class for FREE!

Family Yoga and Dedication Workout

May 10, 2018 @ 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Tilton Fitness Manahawkin

Bring the whole family and dedicate your workout to a special person Free to Anyone Wearing Pink. RSVP to adonofrio@Tiltonfitness.com

Pinktown Zumba

May 10, 2018 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Eatontown Community Center

Show your support and wear PINK to Zumba class during the month of May to attend the class for FREE!

Dancethon

May 11, 2018 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Tilton Fitness Powered by HMH

Join us for some free fitness fun! The dancethon will feature both Zumba and SH’bam instruction along with raffles and more.

Pinklates

May 12, 2018 @ 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Tilton Fitness Manahawkin

Join us for a morning of strengthening your core! Free to anyone wearing Pink. RSVP to adonofrio@Tiltonfitness.com

To learn more about these events and Paint the Town Pink, go to this web site: https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/paint-town-pink/

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Prenatal exposure to plasticizer may harm future male fertility

Scientists have noted a substantial drop in male fertility in recent decades. A new study in mice suggests a possible cause. Chemicals found in a variety of routinely used consumer products may be contributing to the drop in sperm counts and sperm quality among men recently.

The study found the effect of chemicals that disrupt the body’s hormones, called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, may extend beyond more than one generation. The research results were presented March 19, at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Chicago.

“These results suggest that when a mother is exposed to an endocrine disruptor during pregnancy, her son and the son’s future generations may suffer from decreased fertility or hormone insufficiency,” said lead author Radwa Barakat, of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The researchers studied the effect of a phthalate known as DEHP, which is among the most widely used endocrine-disrupting chemicals. It is found in a wide array of industrial and consumer products, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping and tubing, cosmetics, medical devices and plastic toys. The study found that male mice exposed to DEHP prenatally had significantly less testosterone in their blood and fewer sperm in their semen. Consequently, they lost fertility at an age when they normally would have been fertile.

“Most surprisingly, the male mice born to male mice that were exposed to DEHP also exhibited similar reproductive abnormalities—indicating prenatal exposure to DEHP can affect the fertility and reproductive capacity of more than one generation of offspring,” Barakat said. “Therefore, DEHP may be a contributing factor to the decreased sperm counts and qualities in modern men compared to previous generations.”

The study underscores the importance of educating the public to try to reduce their exposure to this chemical and also the need to substitute this chemical with a safer one, he said.

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TIME 100’s Dr. Giuliano Testa: “We should think about infertility as a ‘wellbeing issue’”

Dr. Giuliano Testa, a transplant surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas who led the medical team that performed the first successful uterus transplants in the United States, was named by TIME magazine as one of the most influential people in the world for his role in helping women give birth via uterus transplant.

“What we are doing is going to shed light on infertility for women,” Testa said at the TIME 100 Gala on April 24. “I personally never knew it was such a widespread issue. We should be thinking about it not just as a birth, but a wellbeing issue.”

You can read the tribute to Dr. Testa on TIME magazine’s website.

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New research may explain some causes of infertility and miscarriage

A study in the journal Nature Cell Biology has uncovered information about a key stage that human embryonic cells must pass through just before an embryo implants. The research, led by UCLA biologist Amander Clark, could help explain certain causes of infertility and spontaneous miscarriage.

A team led by Clark, a UCLA professor of molecular cell and developmental biology, set out to find how epigenomic changes — non-genetic influences on gene expression — in human embryonic stem cells could explain why some embryos are not viable. They started by analyzing cells within the early embryo; these cells are pluripotent, meaning that they can turn into any cell within the human body.

After a human embryo is fertilized and before it implants in the uterine lining, cells in the embryo are in a very immature state of pluripotency called the “naive” state. Little is known about the naive state, but scientists believe that if embryonic cells cannot first enter this state, the embryo is not viable and a miscarriage would occur. The findings, Clark said, provide “new information about a time in the lifecycle that we know little about. Fundamental knowledge like this could help better predict infertility or embryo quality.”

The study also could lead to important advances in an area of medicine that historically has been underfunded and underappreciated — in part because the subject of infertility is sometimes seen as taboo and because it doesn’t attract the attention of deadly diseases like cancer.

“People who experience infertility and miscarriage may tell close friends or family, but too often, these issues are not discussed,” Clark said. “But infertility is a significant health concern. It deserves our attention, and we as a society need to be more open about it.”

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It’s time to Paint the Town Pink

Every spring, Hackensack Meridian Health asks the community to Paint the Town Pink. This annual event is meant to raise awareness of the importance of annual mammography and women’s wellness.

Its goal is to encourage all women in the community, age 40 and older, to have their annual mammogram, to remind women to continue to put wellness first in their lives and to make a difference in the lives of women in our community. For the entire month of May, as women visit the many Pink Partners, they are able to pledge to have their annual mammogram and commit to a positive change in their lives, because early detection is a woman’s best defense against breast cancer.

Learn how you can help Paint the Town Pink at this website.

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