Did everyone take a birth control hiatus during quarantine? How COVID-19 could damage fertility in up to 20% of male survivors; And the women seeking sperm on social media.

Your newsletter on reproductive health.

With 6 weeks to go until the end of the year, today we’re doing some pandemic reflection. 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:

  • How COVID-19 could damage sperm in up to 20% of male survivors

  • Did everyone get off birth control during quarantine?

  • How long it takes for fertility to bounce back after coming off birth control

  • The women seeking sperm on social media

  • A Harvard professor on the challenges of commercializing fertility


What’s New

A British-American lesbian couple with 50,000 subscribers on YouTube have launched a campaign demanding equal fertility treatment and an end to the “gay tax” on IVF treatment after being told to pay up to £30,000 ($39,600) to a private clinic before the UK’s National Health Service will help them have a baby.

A quarter of women in America don’t know where their vagina is. That’s according to a new poll, which found that 46% of ladies couldn’t point out the cervix, and 59% suggested a different body part when asked to identify the uterus. Only one in 10 women passed the anatomy quiz, asking them to name all the parts of a female reproductive diagram.

The US state of New Jersey has introduced the Reproductive Freedom Act, to ensure that everyone who needs essential health care — including birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion — is able to receive it:

“We understand that decisions around family planning and pregnancy are deeply personal,” wrote State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle. “As legislators, we believe that these decisions should not be in the hands of politicians with no expertise on these issues but instead in consultation with a woman’s family, physician and faith.”

A team of investors from California, USA, has offered to assist Uganda to improve reproductive health, including gestational surrogacy.

Garmin has expanded its reproductive health tracking features to pregnancy: 18 months after the company introduced period tracking to its wearable devices, it now enables users to track their pregnancy as well.


From The Experts

  • Did everyone go off birth control during quarantine? Mara Santilli / InStyle

  • Should I get genetic testing before IVF or egg freezing? Elizabeth Kearney / ELANZA Wellness

  • Research shows fertility doesn't bounce back immediately after coming off birth control. In a new study, researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark, Boston University, and Harvard University, quantified how long it could take to return to fertility after ceasing various birth control methods. For instance, birth control pills delayed users' fertility 3 menstrual cycles, on average. Julia Naftulin / Insider

  • Harvard Business School professor Debora Spar discusses the challenges of commercializing fertility. Harvard Business Review

  • Why HR should consider reproductive health. Kieran Howells / HR Grapevine


From The Patients

  • Meet the British women desperately seeking semen on social media – and the men eagerly volunteering their “natural insemination” services. Gillian Fisher / Metro

  • Pregnant Hollywood actress Emma Roberts on her fertility issues, endometriosis and freezing her eggs. Alyssa Bailey / Elle

  • After opening up about her IVF journey, former Glee actress Becca Tobin is asking fans to stop questioning if she's pregnant. Sabrina Costabile / Baby Gaga

  • Real talk: Should you actually freeze your eggs? Vicki Spratt / Refinery 29

  • 'Defying the odds': 51-year-old woman gives birth to her own granddaughter. Wyatte Grantham-Philips / MSN


Science & Ethics

  • New research has shown that diet can epigenetically influence sperm health. The inclusion of a mix of nuts for 14 weeks significantly improved sperm count, viability, motility, and morphology in a new study. Participants consuming nuts had changes in sperm DNA function. SciTech Daily

  • COVID-19 could damage the fertility of up to 20% of male survivors, a scientist from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has claimed, after research discovers the virus can linger in the testicles for up to a month. Mary Ketatos / Mail Online

  • Why subsidizing fertility treatment leaves Japanese gynecologists in a bind. Philip Brasor / Japan Times

    Thought for the day

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” [Ernest Hemingway]

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