Is IVF under threat?; FDA warns over ibuprofen use in pregnancy; And why fewer babies is bad for everyone.

Your newsletter on reproductive health

Reproductive rights and access to fertility care hit center stage this week - let’s find out why. 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:

  • Why the FDA has warned against using ibuprofen after 20 weeks in pregnancy

  • For the first time US fertility doctors have publicly opposed a Supreme Court nomination over IVF, contraception, and abortion access fears

  • The study showing restricting reproductive rights is linked to less healthy babies

  • Why the COVID-19 birth decline is bad for everyone

  • The surrogate who was pregnant with twins – then the parents pulled out…

What’s New

Top US fertility doctors have publicly opposed Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, warning it could threaten access to IVF, contraception, and abortion. The editors of leading journal Fertility and Sterility published a letter opposing the seating of ACB, calling it "an undoing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg's progress and an enduring step backwards for womens' individual liberty." They wrote:

"The seating Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court threatens those who seek to build a family through in-vitro fertilization." 

The authors Craig Niederberger, M.D., Eve Feinberg, M.D. and Antonio Pellicer, M.D. said this is the first time in the journal's 70-year history that it has published a statement on the seating of a Supreme Court Justice. They argue that changes to legislation could mean that “physicians would be forced to transfer all embryos, resulting in greater health risk to women and lower pregnancy rates” and that “scientific advances in the field would come to an immediate and devastating halt without the ability to continue reproductive research.” [Read their letter in full here.]

In other news, fertility tracking apps are coming under scrutiny from some US states over privacy, after the Premama data furore.

Kegg, a connected fertility tracker and Kegel trainer, launches out of beta; Tulip Fertility (a sister company to Donor Concierge) launches a new platform with a database of almost 20k egg donors to help patients searching for the perfect match; and Twentyeight Health raises $5.1M to expand access to reproductive healthcare for underserved communities.

From The Experts

  • FDA warns that using NSAIDs like ibuprofen in the second half of pregnancy, after 20 weeks, could lead to complications. FDA

  • Why people deciding not to have babies because of the pandemic is bad for all of us. Eliana Dockterman / TIME

  • The state of sexual and reproductive health and rights: a conversation with Dr. Zara Ahmed. Deekshita Ramanarayanan / New Security Beat

  • “Infertility could be having a huge impact on your mental health, here's how to spot the signs and where to get support” - Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse Consultant, delves deeper into the link between fertility and mental health. Bianca London / Glamour

  • “I lost twins at 20 weeks & this is what I learned about the grief of miscarrying.” Josephine Atluri, a fertility mindfulness expert, shares her experience of loss. Josephine Atluri / MindBodyGreen

  • Are vaginal moisturizing melts safe? An OB/GYN weighs in. Heather Rupe / WebMD

    From The Patients

  • “I was pregnant with surrogate twins – then the parents pulled out.” Canadian Cathleen MacKenzie’s shocking story. Kate Graham / The Sun

  • The Instagram influencer who reveals she “burst into tears” when she received an email from a PR company asking her to team up with a fertility clinic. Louise Starkey / Mail Online

  • One Texas woman’s story of preserving her eggs before chemotherapy, and regret that she didn’t do it sooner. Lindsay Levingston Christian / Essence

  • Bachelorette's Becca Kufrin reveals she's freezing her eggs after breakup. Kaitlin Reilly / E!

  • The celebrities like Emma Bunton and Mariah Carey who have shared their fertility struggles. Kirsty Hatcher / OK

    Science & Ethics

    • When reproductive rights are less restrictive, babies are born healthier: American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies, according to a new study. May Sundhinaraset / Elsevier

    • UPenn receives a $4.5 Million NIH 4 year grant to build a molecular model of the female reproductive system: a multi-disciplinary team will create a comprehensive resource for women’s health by documenting the molecular characteristics of individual cells, defining a cellular atlas uncovering the complex interactions of cells that determine reproductive health. University of Pennsylvania

    • A single-measure biomarker in sperm could replace traditional measures of male fertility, study shows. Mitochondrial DNA may predict male fertility. Jennifer Frosch / BioNews

    • The association between the reproductive health of young women and cardiovascular disease in later life: an umbrella review concludes that policy makers should consider incorporating reproductive risk factors as part of the assessment of cardiovascular risk in clinical guidelines. The BMJ

      And In Case You Missed It

      • What is super-fertility? It’s not as straightforward as it sounds. Sadhbh O’Sullivan / Refinery 29

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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.