Mar 09
Career Woman Stalls Relationships and Childbirth

A high flying career woman in her 40s has given birth using her own eggs frozen as “insurance” when she was younger.

This case highlights a growing trend where busy women preparing for the possibility of “social infertility” – having such career focused lives that they don’t have time to form a relationship during the normal child-bearing ages.

The Australian woman who rose to the senior ranks of a publicly listed company, paid thousands of dollars to have her eggs frozen at age 37 after being unable to develop a long-term relationship. After turning 40, she had the eggs fertilized with donor sperm, and recently gave birth to twins. 

The case was reported in the Medical Journal of Australia, by Dr David Molloy who did not believe the practice was unethical. "Here you've got someone who's financially very sound, who's now got the time to look after a child ... who's actually given up her job to say: 'I've reached the top, I've made enough money, now I can look after a child responsibly'," Dr Molloy said.

However the practice is expected to be seen as controversial as it will increase the numbers of single parent families. Dr Molloy said the ideal age for women to consider egg freezing was between 31 and 35.

Low Omega-3 and Post Natal Depression

Post natal depression may be due to Omega-3 fatty acid depletion during pregnancy. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be important for mental health, and tests on pregnant women found that those with low levels were 6 times more likely to develop depression than women with higher levels.

The study only looked at 38 pregnant women and is reported in Psychiatry Research. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained from food. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to depression in many other studies.

During pregnancy women require more of these oils because they are needed by the developing foetus. Oily fish is considered one of the best sources of omega-3 however pregnant women are advised not to eat some types of fish because of mercury concerns. Instead a reputable omega-3 supplement that has been accredited as mercury safe would be a better option.

Maggot Treatment Tested

Research in the UK has put the increasingly popular practice of using maggots for cleaning out wounds and ulcers to the test. The theory goes that because maggots only eat dead flesh they can quickly and selectively clean out wounds tissue to make way for quicker healing.

The test looked at the treatment of chronic leg ulcers and compared the current standard in wound treatment using hydrogel dressings. The maggots didn’t really live up to their reputation for healing wounds faster. The maggots still did the job well, but the total healing time, and reduction in bacteria was the same as using a standard hydrogel dressing.

The study in the British Medical Journal concludes there is no need to routinely recommend using such ‘larva therapy’.

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