The missing link between stress and infertility; Going through menopause at 24; And could the Pfizer vaccine affect fertility?

Your newsletter on reproductive health.

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

  • Researchers identify missing link between stress and infertility

  • The women who fear 2020 has stolen their chance at motherhood

  • What it’s like to go through menopause at 24

  • Why does the Catholic church object to IVF?

  • No evidence the Pfizer vaccine affects fertility

What’s New

The FDA in the US will likely not include pregnant women in groups approved to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccine until next year despite the high risk of complications, severe illness and death compared to non-pregnant women. Pregnant women have not been included in clinical trials and researchers want to wait and see if any women in existing studies become pregnant to analyze potential indications.

There are calls to investigate possible link between menopause and Covid risk, after some evidence suggests falling oestrogen levels could make older women more vulnerable.

Australia's fertility rate crashed to its lowest level in more than a century even before the coronavirus pandemic, as couples across the nation's capital cities gave up on the idea to have more children. Fertility rates are now lower than 1 across all the country’s major cities.

Similarly, in China a renowned economist has urged the government to allow couples to have three children “as soon as possible” after the introduction of a two-child policy failed to boost low birth rates.

A $73 million settlement has been reached in a sexual assault class action law suit involving more than 5,500 women and a U.C.L.A. Gynecologist.

From The Experts

  • Can Sea Moss help you get pregnant? Heathline

  • Is egg freezing permissible in Islam? Maha El Akoum / Doha News

  • “Having a sperm donor baby is the hardest and best thing I’ve done” - the story of a former TV Head of News. Dorothy Byrne / Daily Mail

  • Can these period crusaders convert you? Jessica Testa / The New York Times

  • COVID fuels depression in pregnant women and new mothers. Cara Murez / WebMD

From The Patients

  • “It feels like a lost year”: the women who fear 2020 has stolen their chance of motherhood. Sirin Kale / The Guardian

  • Freezing eggs in a pandemic as a black woman over 35. Rose Afriyie / Glamour

  • “When George Clooney became a dad at 56 he got kudos. But older moms like me get shamed.” Amy Klein / Think

  • Rebel Wilson on freezing her eggs at age 40. Rachel Paula Abrahamson / Today

  • “What it's like to go through menopause at age 24, with night sweats, weight gain, and infertility.” Anna Medaris Miller / Insider

Science & Ethics

  • Why does the Catholic church object to IVF? It’s more complicated than you think. James T. Keane / America Magazine

  • Have researcher found the missing link between stress and infertility? Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Otago say they have identified the link between stress and infertility, confirming in laboratory testing that a population of nerve cells near the base of the brain — the RFRP neurons — become active in stressful situations and then suppress the reproductive system. Professor Greg Anderson et al / The Journal of Neuroscience

  • No evidence Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine affects women’s fertility. Full Fact

  • Discovery of two-million-year-old skull in South Africa throws new light on human evolution. Joe Middleton /The Independent

  • Researchers at Monash University in Australia have developed a microfluidic device to isolate high quality sperm from semen samples. The process could improve the chances of couples who opt for IVF to have children. The technology uses standing acoustic waves to separate sperm in clinically relevant numbers, and is faster, less labor-intensive, and not as damaging to sperm as current centrifugation and washing procedures. Con Hastings / MedGadget

Thought for the day

“We can reorient science - for example, a kind of medicine much more directed toward the enormous number of women's health problems which are neglected now. But the original givens of this science are the same for men and for women. Women simply have to steal the instrument; they don't have to break it, or try, a priori, to make of it something totally different. Steal it and use it for their own good.” [Simone de Beauvoir]

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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.