Infertility Factors

Infertility can be caused by a number of factors. These could range from stress to malnutrition and age. General health and surroundings also cause infertility. Infertility is not to be confused with impotency which is a completely different thing. It is not a much known factor that like females, males too have a hormonal cycle. A woman may get pregnant during her hormonal cycle but if the male is not in the right stage of his cycle the chances are much lower. The female cycle covers 28 days but the male cycle has not yet been mapped out.

The man cycle has no fixed indicators and does not match his hormonal cycle. A male can release sperm whenever he wishes to, but the quality of the sperm may not be good, diminishing his ability to impregnate. The only sure way to determine a man's fertility is to get tested. In females, an irregular pattern of her periods could indicate infertility. However this is not a sure indicator as irregular periods could be symptom of a number of other health hazards. Again the best way to know is to get tested.

Health is an issue in fertility as well. If a woman is underweight or overweight her fertility is affected. A woman needs to be at or around her ideal body weight. The right hormonal balance needs to be maintained. If the woman is on a rich diet the hormonal cycle is thrown off. If the woman is undernourished the hip region becomes too narrow and her ability to conceive babies suffers. Drinking can also lead to sterility. Alcohol consumption causes a woman to become infertile for a considerable length of time. Alcohol consumption needs to be totally eliminated if a woman desires to get pregnant. However sterility due to alcohol and barrenness are two different things.

There are several other causes of infertility in women. If the woman has a cyst in her ovaries can prevent a woman from getting pregnant. A twisted ovary can prevent the egg from descending into the fallopian tube and making it difficult for the sperm to travel to the egg. Judging infertility in a man is much more difficult. Health does not seem to play a role in it. A skin guy has as much change of getting a lady pregnant as a heavily muscled one. The only thing sure is that fertility goes down with an increase in obesity and age.

Sex Abuse Scandal Isn’t The Only ‘Pain’ For The Pope In South America : Parallels : NPR

Pope Francis waves to a crowd as he arrives at the National Shrine of Maipu in Santiago, Chile, to meet with young people, on Wednesday.

Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images


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Pope Francis waves to a crowd as he arrives at the National Shrine of Maipu in Santiago, Chile, to meet with young people, on Wednesday.

Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Two words stand out from Pope Francis’ three-day visit in Chile this week: “pain” and “shame.”

The pontiff uttered them in a speech on Tuesday before Chilean lawmakers to express contrition for a sweeping sexual abuse scandal that has, more than anything else, undercut the Church’s reputation and influence in this once stalwart Catholic country.

Some Chileans were relieved that the pope addressed the topic, and that hours later he met privately with victims of sexual abuse by clergy. But many Chileans — including local priests — said the pope didn’t go far enough.

“Forgiveness, forgiveness and shame for the abuse, the pope says at La Moneda [presidential palace]. Then he goes to Mass and celebrates with Bishop Barros who shielded perpetrators of the abuse,” tweeted Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse. “Hypocrisy and empty words.”

Cruz is furious with the pope for his 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros, whom victims accuse of covering up the crimes of a child molester, priest Fernando Karadima. The Vatican found Karadima guilty of sexual abuse of minors in 2011.

Barros says the cover-up allegations against him are lies.

But even some Chilean Catholic clergy have condemned Barros’ appointment.

“I think he should resign,” the Rev. Fernando Montes said about the bishop.

Another Chilean priest, Mariano Puga, was photographed at the Mass on Tuesday in Santiago, demonstrating with laypeople against Barros.

“The pope just made a mistake. The pope can make mistakes, can’t he?” Puga told ADN radio.

The pope hasn’t admitted error. On Thursday, his last day in Chile before heading to Peru, he defended Barros and accused critics of smearing the bishop with no evidence.

“The day that they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will say something. There isn’t a single piece of proof against him. Everything is slander, is that clear?” Francis told reporters.

Julieta Suarez-Cao, who teaches political science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, said the pope’s responses to the notorious sex abuse scandal this week were “bittersweet.”

“People were expecting more, and then they were happy he met with the victims. But then he defended Barros. It was puzzling where he really stands,” she said.

Abortion law first, marriage equality next?

The sexual abuse scandal dominated much of the Chile leg of the pope’s South America trip — but it isn’t the only issue the Catholic Church is facing in the country.

Chileans are increasingly avoiding church pews and embracing social norms opposed by the Vatican, including a greater acceptance of abortion and recognition of the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people.

This is a trend throughout Latin America, although Chile is perhaps the starkest example of it. The Catholic population in Latin America fell from 90 percent, through most of the 20th century, to 69 percent in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center.

Meanwhile, just 45 percent of Chileans identify as Catholic, according to a poll by Latinobarometro. Other surveys show a higher percentage: A leading national newspaper, La Tercera, pegged the number at 59 percent.

The pope’s visit clearly stirred emotions for some Chileans, with some excited to see the pontiff close up while others staged protests and even attacks on churches. But much of the mood in Santiago was ho-hum.

Even though around 400,000 people attended his Mass in the capital, few people lined the streets to wave afterward or as he drove through the city. That’s despite the fact that the Chilean government declared Tuesday a national holiday to honor the pope’s visit.

“I didn’t see a lot of people. There were a lot less than when Pope John Paul II came [in 1987],” said Leonard Chavez, 58, a devout Catholic who went to the Mass. “Even though it’s a holiday today, most of my work colleagues said they were just staying home.”

And in Iquique, the pope gave his third public Mass on Thursday to an audience a third of the size that was projected.

Ignacio Walker, a senator who identifies as a “Catholic legislator,” said part of the disconnect is that the Church is too “obsessed with sexual morality.”

“It’s lost its reach among the people,” Walker said.

He points to the Church’s passionate campaign to kill a recent law that legalized abortion in three circumstances: when the mother’s life is in danger, the fetus isn’t viable or the pregnancy is the result of rape. Prior to that law reform, Chile had one of the strictest abortion bans in the world.

That zeal was on display during the pope’s visit to Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago on Wednesday. The university’s president introduced the pope by emphasizing the Church’s anti-abortion stance.

The pope, who has previously said the Church is “obsessed” with abortion, homosexuality and birth control, didn’t mention the law in his own remarks.

Suarez-Cao, the associate professor at the university, said the Church may have lost sway with average Chileans, but it still exerts powerful influence on elites who govern the country.

“Their parents were Catholic. They went to Catholic schools, Catholic universities,” she said. “They have influence on the elites regardless of their relationship with the people in general.”

The fact that lawmakers passed the abortion law was a rebuke to the Church — but it came after months of hard negotiations. President Michelle Bachelet, a self-proclaimed agnostic, has introduced much of the country’s socially progressive legislation, including a bill to officially recognize same-sex marriage.

Even so, the Church is a powerful player in Chilean politics, and that influence could play out in coming weeks. Lawmakers have before them not just the same-sex marriage bill but another controversial piece of legislation that would give adults the right to change their gender on government IDs. The Catholic Church opposes both.

Analysts believe supporters of the bills likely have just a few weeks to get them passed, as President-elect Sebastian Pinera campaigned against both of them. Pinera takes office in March, along with a new, more conservative batch of lawmakers. Congress is not in session in February.

“It’s now or never,” Suarez-Cao said.

Benefits of Obesity – You Are Kidding Right?

A surprising side effect to being obese is that it can actually protect the heart in people who already have heart disease. For these few rare individuals, they tend to live longer and do better than thin people with the same heart disease.

Known as a paradox, it appears to be the result of a combination of the impact on an obese person's fat cells and their metabolic functions. This is a relatively new development and little is known about the exact causes or reasons. Researchers guess that since the person is already overweight, then their body is used to working harder to fight off diseases.

They have more reserves stored up so they have a better chance at fighting off the disease. It is also speculated that since these people are more out of shape than their skinnier counterparts, they are more prone to showing symptoms earlier which leads to an earlier diagnoses.

Although obesity is known to be the leading cause of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and heart disease, these people show a less likelihood of having heart attacks or strokes. Doctors are quick to point out that gaining weight is not the answer for thinner people though. The protective factor comes in to play with overweight and obese people who have been like that for a long period of time. If a thin person were to suddenly gain a lot of weight, it would have adverse effects and be more likely to cause health issues for them.

In either case, it is still recommended that obese people try to lose weight for the benefit of their hearts. The more weight they can lose, the better it is for their heart. They are also more likely to exercise more, which in turn exercises the heart and makes it stronger. They just have to remember not to overdo it. People who are able to make the changes necessary to eat healthier, exercise more, and lose some weight, can reduce their risk of developing heart disease.

It is growing trend in America that our waistbands are expanding. Instead of advances in health care extending our lives, our expanding waistlines are cutting them shorter. Researchers are trying to isolate the gene that causes obesity so that it can be stopped from ever beginning.

If they can find this gene, they may also be able to find a cure and help those that already afflicted with obesity. Another possible benefit would be isolating why being overweight can protect the heart. Consequently leading to finding benefits for everyone with heart diseases, regardless of size.

No matter what size their patients are, doctors should always recommend a change in diet and exercise. This has been proven as a beneficial treatment for everyone. Thirty to forty minutes of activity a day is recommended. People also have to start limiting their intake of salt and bad fats that are all found in processed and convenience foods. Adding fresh fruits, vegetables, leaner proteins, and whole grains helps everyone maintain better heart health.

U.S. Health Agency Revokes Obama-era Planned Parenthood Protection

(Reuters) – U.S. health officials on Friday said they were revoking legal guidance issued by the Obama Administration that had sought to discourage states from trying to defund organizations that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials also said the department is issuing a new regulation aimed at protecting healthcare workers’ civil rights based on religious and conscience objections.

The regulation protects the rights of healthcare workers from providing abortion, euthanasia, and sterilization, the officials said during a media call with reporters.

The announcement comes one day after HHS said it was creating a new division that would focus on conscience and religious objections, a move it said was necessary after years of the federal government forcing healthcare workers to provide such services.

HHS will issue a letter on Friday to state Medicaid offices that will rescind the Obama Administration’s 2016 guidance, which it had issued after states including Indiana had tried to defund abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

The guidance “restricted states’ ability to take certain actions against family-planning providers that offer abortion services,” HHS said in a statement.

The Medicaid program is jointly funded by states and the federal government and provides healthcare services to the poor and disabled. Federal law prohibits Medicaid or any other federal funding for abortion services.

NEW RULE

The rule will enforce existing statutes that guarantee these civil rights. The Office of Civil Rights Director Roger Severino said the office had received 34 complaints since President Donald Trump took office last January.

When asked by reporters if the rule would allow providers to not provide care to transgender individuals based on religious objections, Severino said the rule refers to statutes that are based on providing procedures.

Experts on Thursday said the move to protect workers on religious grounds raised the possibility it could provide legal cover for otherwise unlawful discrimination and encourage a broader range of religious objections.

Legalization Bills Introduced at the State and Federal Level: Week In Review

Seth Hyman has not only worked to build law firm Kelley Kronenberg’s Regulated Substances Practice Group to help Florida cannabis businesses become established, but he has also been appointed as a patient advocate on Broward County’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, and his journey began with his 12-year-old daughter Rebecca, who suffers from a severe genetic disorder called 1P36 Deletion Syndrome.

Rebecca cannot walk or talk, is neurologically visually and hearing impaired and suffers from intractable epilepsy. After trying many prescription pharmaceuticals and being unsatisfied with the results, Hyman found a group of parents in California who were giving their children a low-THC, high-CBD oil to help treat epilepsy. When bringing the oil back to Florida was not a legal option, Hyman and other parents with medically complex children went to Tallahassee and lobbied the Florida legislature to pass legislation to allow medical marijuana in the state.

After legalization, Kelley Kronenberg hired Hyman to help build its Regulated Substance Practice Group.

“For me, I have two interests—one is, I have an interest as a patient advocate for not only my daughter but for other patients, but then on the flip side, on the business component, my full-time job is working for a law firm who has been in the medical marijuana space since 2014, but it’s been a very slow go,” Hyman said. 

After speaking on the topic of medical cannabis throughout the state with Kelley Kronenberg, Hyman was appointed to the Broward County Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, which he said was a perfect fit.

“It’s a very humbling and exciting opportunity for me to hopefully make a difference in many people’s lives,” he said. 

Here, Hyman discusses how his journey in the medical marijuana industry aligns with the rollout of Florida’s program.

Cannabis Business Times: Can you describe your background? How have you assisted in the lawmaking process in the state, and how did you become involved with the advisory board?

Seth Hyman (pictured left): Amendment 2 failed [in 2014]. It basically failed the first go around, and that was an amendment to legalize medical marijuana for qualifying conditions. So now we were back to the legislature for their action to be taken to legalize at least low-THC cannabis. We spent weeks at a time up in Tallahassee meeting with legislatures, different senators and state representatives, sharing our story, sharing how our children have seizures—they’ll have seizures right in front of the legislators—and after much push, I felt it wasn’t going to pass. The Senate came out with a bill called SB1030, which was called the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, which authorized physicians to order low-THC cannabis for specific patients, and mainly it was about the children. It was the children’s voices through the parents because many of these children could not speak. Parents like myself and others were really raising our voices very loud for our children. 

I remember when the senate bill was coming up for a vote, my wife and I along with my daughter in her wheelchair with her oxygen tank, we went into one of the senators’ offices at about 5:30 at night. They were going to vote on the bill the next day. We sat down with these two Republican [legislators]. They said to me, “Listen, Mr. Hyman, we understand your situation. We feel for you.” Most people have no clue what parents like us go through. And they looked at us, and they said, “We feel for you, we have an idea of what you go through, but I can tell you right now this bill is not going to pass.” After speaking with them for an hour, at the end of the meeting, they looked at each other, and they said, “Mr. Hyman, after hearing your story, after sitting here in front of your daughter Rebecca and looking in her eyes, there is no way we’re going to vote no on this bill tomorrow. You will have our vote.”

And sure enough, the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 passed Florida legislature and eventually was signed by the governor. And that was the beginning of medical marijuana in the state of Florida. It was before Amendment 2 passed, which it did in 2016. What I like to emphasize is it was the faces of the children and the voices of the parents that made it happen. I sometimes feel that that’s being forgotten, but if you really look closely at Florida medical marijuana and the whole program, it started with children, and it just shows you the impact the silent voices of children who are medically complex can have.

CBT: What does it mean to be a “Patient Advocate” on the board?

SH: I believe it’s a great opportunity for me to share my experience and knowledge that I’ve obtained over the last four years. I could hopefully provide first-hand experience on what I’ve learned and what I’ve seen with patients, and the advisory board and the commission could take my personal experiences and hopefully establish certain regulations and policies that would be beneficial for the patients.

Access is important. Product availability is important. And I also think it’s important for us to differentiate between, [the county laws and] the overall laws for medical marijuana in Florida [that] are made by the Florida legislature. You have laws made by the state, and then you have laws made locally by counties, municipalities, and in our case, it’s Broward County. It’s one of Florida’s largest counties. I think locally, my voice and my experience—my stories, my experience using products with my daughter—could truly help the community.

CBT: What do you think is working well in the state’s medical marijuana program?

SH: If you have the opportunity to speak to medical marijuana advocates or patients and you ask them this question, most of them will say there’s not much working well here in Florida, unfortunately, because there have been so many lawsuits against the state of Florida. There have been so many hiccups in the rollout of the medical marijuana program that many would view it as a program that needs a lot of work.

Recently, Florida patients had to wait anywhere between 45 and 90-plus days after they saw a doctor to get their card to go to a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center [MMTC]—what the dispensaries are called here in Florida—to actually get their medicine. Three months ago, I was working with a stage-four cancer patient who was terminally ill, dire pain, suffering beyond anything I’ve ever seen, and three months went by and they still did not get their card. That has been a huge issue for the state, but recently, the state is trying to work with a third-party issuer of cards—they were doing it themselves before—and from what I hear, the turnaround time now has been improved. I think the state says it should be 20 days if you do it online and 30 days if you do it offline, if you mail in the application with your photo. Well, 30 or even 45 days is a lot better than 90. I think the state needs to continue to work toward the turnaround time and the process for providing the cards for the patients since so many of these patients are in desperate need of medicine today, not in 45 days or 60 days.

What’s good is that Florida has over 70,000 patients now registered. In the first year of a true rollout, that’s pretty amazing. From what I hear, that’s probably better than many medical states, if not all the medical states out there. Patients are there, they want to get their cards and the fact that we have such a high count so quickly [is] a good thing.

I think it’s [also] working well for the license holders. Again, it’s been very limited to the good. I think probably if you said, “Well, what is the one thing that’s working well in the state of Florida for the medical marijuana program?” I could say that cannabis is available. Just the fact that there’s a program in place where a patient has the right, providing they have one of the qualifying conditions, to get medicine, I think that in itself is a major victory for the patients and the people of the state of Florida.

CBT: What changes do you hope to see implemented the program?

SH: There definitely needs to be more product choice. Products are very, very limited.  

More MMTCs [need to] get online quickly because here in Florida, we’re allowed to have 18. Right now, there are maybe only four that are fully operational.

We desperately need to expand the qualifying medical conditions. Right now, I believe there are 10, and there are still hundreds of thousands of people who could potentially benefit from the use of cannabis whose doctors are afraid to order it for them because their particular condition is not one of the 10, but yet their symptoms could be identical to one of the 10. Here in Florida, there is an “other,” and it basically says if the doctor deems that you’ve tried everything, nothing else works, OK, you can try cannabis. There’s a process.

Flower—real flower, not processed, ground-up flower in a tamper-proof container—needs to be available, and that’s really what’s coming to the market here: ground-up flower in tamper-proof containers that can only be vaporized. There are many patients who can’t benefit from that. They need a particular flower, they need to take their medicine the way they need to take care of them. [In] many other states, I think flower is an important component.

Edibles are technically legal here in the state of Florida, but because the state legislature, Department of Health and all the appropriate governing agencies have not devised certain standards into the production and distribution of edibles, edibles are not available. Until they come out with those standards, producers cannot make edibles, which is a big problem for many patients.

Many patients are scared to use a vaporizer. They might not feel comfortable for whatever reason taking a tincture or a pill. That really needs to be worked on.

CBT: What recommendations do you look forward to sharing with the county commissioners?

SH: I think what’s important for the county commissioners to keep in mind is that if patients are not able to obtain medicine within a reasonable distance from their home, they’re going to leave the city or town or county where they live, and they’re going to go somewhere else. What happens when they leave and go elsewhere? What happens if they need to do some shopping? If they’re leaving your local community and going elsewhere, there’s a good possibility they’re going to do their shopping and spend their dollars outside of their community. What I try to share with legislators is that here in Florida, we have very strict regulations on the do’s and don’ts of opening up an MMTC. They’re very sophisticated, they’re very complementary to the communities that they serve and the more and more cities and counties have moratoriums on allowing MMTCs in their community, [the more] they’re driving their citizens elsewhere.

Safety is always an issue. That’s been spoken about a lot because of the cash situation.

I know [the commissioners are] taking all of this into consideration, and I think issuing recommendations of what the patients need and what’s important to them will potentially be a good thing. That’s what I’m looking forward to providing.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Top image: © SeanPavonePhoto | Adobe Stock; Seth Hyman headshot courtesy of Seth Hyman