December 6th, 2013
12:01 AM ET
New numbers out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that fewer women in the United States are having children.
Between 2000 and 2009, pregnancy rates for U.S. women fell by 12%, or nearly 6.4 million pregnancies. The pregnancy rate is the lowest it has been in 12 years.
In fact, the rates for teenage pregnancy reached historic lows in 2009, for all three major race groups: non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanic teenagers. In 2009, there were 39% fewer teen pregnancies than the 1991 peak rate of 61.8 teen pregnancies for every 1,000 teens.
"Research suggests that more teens are delaying initiating sex, waiting longer to have sex," said Rachel Jones, a senior research associate with the Guttmacher Institute, who was not associated with the study.
November 22nd, 2013
02:26 PM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published recently that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Breast milk + solid foods = allergy prevention?
With up to 8% of children in the United States dealing with food allergies, many parents want to know how they can prevent this condition. A new study suggests that babies who receive solid food while they are breast-feeding may be protected from food allergies.
August 12th, 2013
04:01 PM ET
As scientists struggle to understand the causes of autism, a potential new pattern has emerged: The condition is associated with induced or augmented labor, according to a new study.
Induction means stimulating contractions before spontaneous labor begins. Augmentation means helping contractions become stronger, longer or more frequent. Both of these methods of expediting deliveries have helped mothers who have health conditions that could be detrimental to them or their child.
The researchers did not prove that these treatments cause autism. Women should not read the new study, which is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, and decide against expediting labor on that basis, said Simon Gregory, researcher at Duke University Medical Center and lead author of the study.
July 2nd, 2013
06:41 PM ET
While new research finds no significant link between autism and singleton children conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF), a slightly increased risk of mental retardation, or intellectual disability, was found following IVF treatment including intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
ICSI involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg to fertilize it. Researchers found when ICSI was used to overcome male infertility, the risk for intellectual disability increased slightly compared to IVF without ICSI.
"The reasons (for an increased risk) could be the underlying infertility,” says Abraham Reichenberg, one of the study authors and a professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York and King's College London.
“It could be something happening in the many steps that are involved in each of the treatments, or something that's happening later in the pregnancies, or all of them combined together. It could be any one of those steps. In any one of them it could go wrong." FULL POST
June 18th, 2013
12:36 PM ET
Don't drink while you're pregnant, not even in moderation. It's wisdom that major medical groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have repeatedly emphasized. But researchers are still looking into the specific effects of different quantities of maternal drinking on children.
A new study in BMJ is the latest to look at whether moderate drinking during pregnancy is associated with adverse effects on children. The researcher's measure for detrimental fetal neurodevelopment - children's ability to do various balance tasks at age 10.
Researchers found that mothers who drank between three and seven glasses of alcohol a week during pregnancy did not, on average, have children who had balance problems at age 10, and there were even some observed benefits. However, these are associations, not a proof that alcohol causes any outcomes.
May 6th, 2013
05:46 PM ET
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning pregnant women to stay away from migraine medicine containing valproate. The agency says the drug can lead to decreased IQ scores in children whose mothers took the medication during pregnancy.
Valproate sodium (Depacon), valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor), and divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP and Depakote ER) are among the valproate products the FDA says pregnant women should never use. That includes their generic versions.
April 10th, 2013
03:53 PM ET
Moms can be convinced to change their minds about having their babies before they are at full term, according to a study released this week in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
For years, medical groups have been encouraging moms to wait until their baby has remained in utero for 39 weeks. At the same time, the number of women choosing to induce labor or have an elective cesarean section for nonmedical reasons has been rising.
March 4th, 2013
03:01 PM ET
Women may experience more symptoms of anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder following childbirth than previously thought, according to two studies published today.
One study, published in the March/April issue of The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, found postpartum is a high-risk time for women to develop these symptoms. More than 400 study participants completed screening tests for anxiety, depression and OCD at 2 weeks. At 6 months, 329 of the women completed the survey again. (The women in the study did not receive a clinical diagnosis by a psychologist.)
"Postpartum women may experience obsessive compulsive symptoms at much higher rates than at other times in their lives," said senior study author Dr. Dana Gossett, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
OCD is a sub-type of depression. In this study, researchers found the most common symptoms were being concerned about dirt or germs, and checking behaviors for fear of harming the baby. While it's not unusual for new mothers to be concerned that they are doing everything with their new baby correctly, the real question, Gossett said, is how it's affecting the mother's daily life.
March 1st, 2013
07:51 AM ET
The list of products containing bisphenol A is pretty long: it coats the inside of the food cans; it can be found in certain plastic containers; it is sometimes found on cash register receipts.
And the list of maladies linked to the chemical is growing longer.
The latest study, by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, suggests a possible connection between BPA detected in urine samples of children and later problems with breathing.
February 14th, 2013
03:46 PM ET
Happy National Condom Day! If you're not thrilled with the abundance of pink paper hearts surrounding your desk, this campaign for safe sex offers a different reason to celebrate February 14.
Fittingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released two reports Thursday on contraception use in the United States. The reports summarize data from the National Survey of Family Growth.
One, "Use of Emergency Contraception Among Women Aged 15-44," is the first ever published on emergency contraception by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
Here are some of the most interesting highlights from that report:
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.