Reproductive health under Biden; The identical twins pregnant by identical twins; And investing in menopause solutions.

Your newsletter on reproductive health.

This is ELANZINE, a newsletter featuring must-read content by patients, clinicians and reproductive health industry experts. We bring both sides of the coin together in one place to help you become the most informed patient, clinician or women’s health leader you can be! If you enjoy this issue, please forward to a friend or colleague and hit the subscribe button to keep learning from peers and experts.

Here’s what we’re covering in today’s newsletter:

  • Reproductive rights changes under the new Biden administration

  • Expanding insurance coverage for infertility

  • Why VCs are investing in menopause solutions

  • The pain of having IVF paused

  • The identical twins pregnant by identical twins


What’s New

Across the USA, fertility insurance expansion demand continues to grow. A Tennessee advocacy group, Tennessee Fertility Advocates, is pushing the state legislature to pass a fertility insurance bill, calling it a “pro-family”. Similar demand by nonprofit and patient advocacy groups is happening in North Dakota. Legislation has also been introduced in Virginia to a study on the impacts of requiring health insurance plans in the state to cover infertility treatment. There are currently 19 states that mandate at least some coverage for infertility treatment. Despite this, gay couples often face added hurdles.

Columbia Health Justice and Governance Professor Terry McGovern writes for the British Medical Journal on the anticipated sexual and reproductive health and rights changes under the new Biden administration.

The husband of a British nurse who died with Covid-19 after giving birth has said pregnant women have been "neglected" during the pandemic.

In China, a celebrity scandal has triggered widespread debate about surrogacy. A glamorous Chinese actress has been accused by her estranged partner of abandoning two surrogate babies they had decided to have together, stranding him in the United States to take care of them. Communist Party official have argued that the case shows that China’s limits on people seeking surrogate mothers should be tightened. Meanwhile, amidst a historically low birthrate there is a growing movement calling for a relaxation of the country’s limits on reproductive techniques including, but not limited to, surrogacy.

A startup in Israel, Embryonics, claims its AI can improve the odds of successfully implanting a healthy embryo during IVF.


From The Experts

  • Stress and fertility: the missing link uncovered. ELANZA Wellness

  • Are women let down by period trackers? Zoe Kleinman / BBC News

  • What is being done to tackle “period poverty” in the West? The Economist

  • Ocean pollutants “have negative effect on male fertility”. Helen Briggs / BBC News

  • Why COVID has caused a surge in uptake of workplace fertility benefits like egg freezing, adoption, surrogacy and other related services. Alyssa Place / Benefit News


From The Patients

  • After 10 years of secondary infertility, I gave birth to my miracle baby at age 44. Catherine Garney / Stuff

  • “A year of our life, just waiting”: the pain of having IVF paused. Rachel Moss / Huffington Post

  • These are the emotional ups and downs of surrogacy. Stylist

  • Amy Schumer reveals she went through IVF for her "own safety." Emily Weaver / Hello Giggles

  • Identical twins Brittany and Briana Deane, 33, from Virginia married another set of identical twin brothers. Now both sisters are pregnant at the same time. The children will not only be cousins, but full genetic siblings. Hayley Richardson / Mail Online


Science & Ethics

  • Why more startups and VCs are finally pursuing the menopause market: “$600B is not niche.” Christine Hall / Crunchbase

  • Why are there no data on COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy? Jamie Ducharme / TIME

  • We removed the word "infertility" from our website & here's why. Editorial team / Mind Body Green

  • Study points to a new mechanism underlying male infertility. Max Planck Gesellschaft / Technology Networks


Upcoming Online Events

Be the first to claim one of 20 free tickets opened up to ELANZA subscribers to the upcoming Health Tech 2.0 global virtual conference next Thursday 28 January, hosted by Women of Wearables - value $55. Click ‘Enter Promo Code’ on the ticket selection page and use the code ELANZA

Click RSVP now to save your spot at the following live webinars:


Thought for the day

“We cannot tolerate a perspective that is about going backward and not understanding women have agency. Women have value. Women have authority to make decisions about their own lives and their own bodies.”

― Kamala Harris


Thank you for being part of ELANZINE!

For more resources, full event listings, coaching tools and to connect with others, become a member of the ELANZA Community now! *It’s FREE*

Comments, questions or something to feature next week? Send us a note at hello@elanzawellness.com.

As a community, our biggest goal is to get the word out to people who can benefit from science-backed women’s health information. PLEASE FORWARD this newsletter to someone you know who fits that bill. You are helping us achieve our mission of radically improving fertility care for millions of people around the world.


Written by ELANZA Wellness. All things reproductive health, healthtech and patient experience. You can find us elsewhere on Twitter and Instagram.

Stress and Fertility: The Missing Link

  
0:00
-21:39

Ep. 3 of the Optimizing Fertility Podcast

Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and more…

Who hasn’t heard stories of people “giving up” trying to conceive, and then falling pregnant? Despite anecdotal evidence, proving a causal relationship between stress and fertility has long proven enigmatic for doctors and scientists. That is, until now.

About this episode

A new study has uncovered a "missing link" between the brain and the reproductive system. In this episode ELANZA’s Catherine Hendy speaks to the study's lead author Professor Greg Anderson, from the Anderson Laboratory at the University of Otago's Centre for Neuroendocrinology.

After over a decade of research into precisely how neurons in our brains could modulate reproductive function via the hormone system in response to stress, Professor Anderson’s team of researchers have some answers that could potentially lead to novel treatments for stress-related infertility.

We hear what exactly the link is, and what it could mean for people trying to conceive or planning to in the future.

You can read the full transcript of this interview here.


Professor Greg Anderson leads The Anderson Research Group laboratory at the University of Otago's Centre for Neuroendocrinology. His research focuses on how hormones and brains cells regulate fertility.


A drug to reverse menopause? South American abortion protests; And how cannabis impacts fertility.

Your newsletter on reproductive health.

This is ELANZINE, a newsletter featuring must-read content by patients, clinicians and reproductive health industry experts. We bring both sides of the coin together in one place to help you become the most informed patient, clinician or women’s health leader you can be! If you enjoy this issue, please forward to a friend or colleague and hit the subscribe button to keep learning from peers and experts.

Here’s what we’re covering in today’s newsletter:

  • Could an injection reverse the menopause?

  • The South American abortion protests

  • Top hospital study finds fresh embryos beat frozen in IVF

  • Research shows cannabis may impair fertility

  • 33 and married: would you wait to conceive?


What’s New

[Image source: Europa Press]

Argentina this week officially legalized abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. The government estimates at least 3,000 women have died since the 1980s from half a million secret abortions. This move makes it one of just a handful of Latin American countries to allow abortion. Neighbouring country Chile also initiated its own debate, as women took to the streets of Santiago to demand the right to decide.

One in four gestational carrier - surrogacy - pregnancies in the USA do not meet the guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In a new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers from the University of California also found non-adherence to the guidelines increased risk of miscarriage five fold.

The Financial Times reports that vaccine scepticism among medics is sparking alarm in Europe and US - with some health workers voicing reluctance to have the innoculation. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Health Minister has told the government’s health committee that last week a group of anti-vax campaigners staged a protest outside a vaccination centre last week, reportedly targeting young female healthcare staff and telling them the Covid-19 jab would affect their fertility. Despite rumours circulating, there is absolutely no evidence that any of the approved vaccines are linked to infertility. WebMD explains why they are being falsely linked.

Period and fertility tracking app Flo has reached a settlement with regulators over allegations it shared users’ private health data with third party apps, including Facebook - which was first claimed in a Wall Street Journal report into apps’ data sharing activities.


From The Experts

  • 5 surprising facts about birth control from an expert nurse practitioner. ELANZA Wellness

  • “IVF baby” now grown up is on a mission to help other women become moms — with the doc who helped to conceive her by her side. Naledia Shange / Herald Live

  • How diabetes is associated with lower fertility. BioSpectrum

  • 5 therapist approved strategies that make healthier eating easier. Perri O. Blumberg / The Beet

  • OBGYN Dr. Shannon Clark shares her go-to product for curbing morning sickness (and it's $19 on Amazon). Murphy Moroney / Pop Sugar


From The Patients

  • Trying to conceive: “I made lifestyle changes and lost five stone for IVF.” Claudia Tanner / i news

  • Married woman, 33, reveals she’s thinking about delaying trying to conceive - but would you wait? LaToya Gayle / Mail Online

  • Data show more women are freezing their eggs during the pandemic, defying doctors’ expectations. Eliana Dockterman / TIME

  • How a lesbian couple used social media to find a free sperm donor. Julia Naftulin / Insider

  • “Doctors told me my ovaries were “dead” after cancer - I’m so glad I didn’t listen to them.” - Kimberley Bond / Tyla


Science & Ethics

  • A study suggest cannabis might impair a woman's fertility. Cara Murez / Health Day

  • Could an injection reverse the menopause? A Greek fertility clinic claim injecting platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) into the ovaries could do just that... Jessica Hamzelou / New Scientist

  • Fresh embryos beat frozen for IVF, suggests retrospective study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, one of America’s top hospitals. BWH

  • Menopause may cause forgetfulness and impaired attention, a new study reveals. Longjam Dineshwori / The Health Site

  • An Australian researcher and IVF clinician has called for women to donate unused frozen eggs. "Freezing eggs is an expensive process,” says Dr. Alex Polyakov. “So women who have frozen eggs but no longer require them, as they have completed their family or do not wish to use them in the future, could donate their eggs and be reimbursed for the egg freezing costs they had incurred.” University of Melbourne / MedicalXpress


Upcoming Online Events


Thought for the day

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

― Eckhart Tolle


Thank you for being part of ELANZINE!

For more resources, full event listings, coaching tools and to connect with others, become a member of the ELANZA Community now! *It’s FREE*

Comments, questions or something to feature next week? Send us a note at hello@elanzawellness.com.

As a community, our biggest goal is to get the word out to people who can benefit from science-backed women’s health information. PLEASE FORWARD this newsletter to someone you know who fits that bill. You are helping us achieve our mission of radically improving fertility care for millions of people around the world.


Written by ELANZA Wellness. All things reproductive health, healthtech and patient experience. You can find us elsewhere on Twitter and Instagram.

The Latest on Birth Control: Ep. 2 of the "Optimizing Fertility" Podcast

  
0:00
-22:33

Listen now

A nurse practitioner demystifies contraception and reveals the new options in market.

Molly Kenward, a nurse practitioner at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health, talks to ELANZA’s Brittany Hawkins about the family planning devices and medications on the market today, including the ones she is most excited to share with her patients. She discusses potential impacts on fertility, how to choose the right option for you and the development and adoption challenges of the Male Pill.

Molly is also happy to answer specific questions in the ELANZA Community!

Here’s how to ask:

  1. Click here to access the community

  2. Post your question on the forum using the topic Birth Control

  3. Alternatively, direct message Molly using the chat feature (top right menu)

Note: The opinions in this podcast should not be considered medical advice or the views of UCSF Health. Please talk to your own provider or practitioner before taking medical care decisions.

-

Molly Kenward, NP, MSN is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health. Molly has over 12 years of experience working in healthcare ranging from critical care oncology to rural community health. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in Biology with honors in Neuroscience. From there she completed postgraduate training at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Global Health, volunteered for the British and American Red Cross across Africa and South America before returning home to the Bay Area to complete training at UCSF to become a family nurse practitioner. In her patient care, she emphasizes the well-being of the whole person and wants every individual to be informed and empowered in making decisions about their health.  


Finding Love: Ep. 1 of the "Optimizing Fertility" Podcast

  
0:00
-20:56

The Optimizing Fertility Podcast

Hear the first episode now

A dating and relationship coach on science-backed strategies to find lasting love.

Research shows most of us still prefer to start a family within a committed partnership. So what does it take to find one if you’re single with a shortening timeline, and you’re growing tired of dating? Renowned dating and relationship coach Alexis Sclamberg joins ELANZA’s Catherine Hendy to reveal the strategies she uses with her clients and what “taking your power back” means.

Alexis Sclamberg is co-founder of Borrowed Wisdom, a company that offers online programs to inspire and empower individuals to manifest a life they love. A former lawyer, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is an Instructor at Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Alexis contributes personal essays to publications including Cosmopolitan, Forbes, and The Huffington Post, and has been featured on the radio, including NPR.


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