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American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Oct. 20-24, 2012

The 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine

The annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine was held from Oct. 20 to 24 in San Diego and attracted approximately 5,000 participants from around the world, including physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians, and other health care professionals interested in reproductive medicine. The conference featured more than 1,000 abstracts focusing on reproductive biology and hosted more than 200 different vendors.

In one study, Jeris Cox, M.D., of the Shady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues investigated the effectiveness of intrauterine insemination for unexplained infertility in women age 21 to 46.

"Results show that younger women (less than 40 years old) undergoing Clomid gonadotropin ovarian stimulation with intrauterine insemination have similar ongoing pregnancy rates up to four cycles of treatment, but women greater than 40 have approximately half the clinical pregnancy rates compared to younger age groups, which is documented even in their first cycle," Cox said. "Furthermore, continuing successive attempts at intrauterine insemination (meaning the patients failed to get pregnant in previous cycles) has diminishing returns over time, and cumulative pregnancy rates also start to plateau at approximately cycle four (which is the last cycle we have enough sample size to adequately analyze)."

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In another study, Bat-Sheva Maslow, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues evaluated the types of birth control women with cancer were using and what kind of counseling they received about birth control from their physicians. The investigators surveyed 107 women with cancer about their contraceptive choices.

"We discovered that a large proportion of these women were not using birth control or were using forms of birth control that are considered less effective," Maslow said. "Greater than 80 percent of the women, regardless of what kind of cancer they had, reported that birth control was very important to them during their cancer treatment. However, 14 percent of the women reported they were not using birth control, 24 percent reported that they were abstinent, 10 percent were using the withdrawal method, and 2 percent were using the rhythm method."

According to Maslow, women with breast cancer did not use hormonal contraception nearly as much as women with other cancers because the hormones are thought to convey a risk of recurrence in breast cancer.

"The copper intrauterine device would be an ideal method for women with cancer because it does not contain hormones and is highly effective, but it was only used by 4 percent of the women (all of whom had breast cancer)," Maslow said.

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Among more than 60,000 women from the Nurses' Health Study II, Stacey Missmer, Sc.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues found that women who reported child sexual or physical abuse had a higher risk of developing endometriosis than women who did not report abuse.

"This finding provides an interesting new risk factor that may add to the evidence regarding endometriosis etiology. It remains to be examined further in the context of proven risk factors," Missmer said.

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Jessica Kresowik, M.D., of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues evaluated whether sexual knowledge, human papillomavirus (HPV) knowledge, and sexual behavior differed among young girls who were vaccinated against HPV versus those who were not vaccinated.

The investigators found that young girls who were vaccinated were more likely to be knowledgeable about sex as well as about HPV. However, there was no difference in sexual behavior between those who were vaccinated and those who were not.

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ASRM: Dietary Glycemic Load Linked to Sperm Concentration

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Increased carbohydrate intake and dietary glycemic load and increased intake of full-fat dairy products are associated with worse semen quality, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, held from Oct. 20 to 24 in San Diego.

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