Tests allowing women to find out whether their pregnancy is continuing or ending may soon be available for use in the home. A conference at London's Royal Society of Medicine will hear how the semi-quantitative pregnancy test (SQPT) could provide reassurance to women in early pregnancy and improve the management of abortion and miscarriage.
Current tests for the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can tell women if they may be pregnant before they have even missed a period, although they cannot confirm whether or not the hormone is falling or rising.
But the new tests developed in the US can do so, meaning it is possible to state whether a pregnancy is continuing or ending. For women who have ended pregnancies using the abortion pill, the semi-quantitative pregnancy test enables them to ascertain at home whether their pregnancy has ended, by showing that hCG levels are falling.
"For women who have experienced miscarriage, knowledge that their hCG levels are falling as expected may provide the peace of mind that no further interventions will be needed.
"For women undergoing early abortion, the introduction of this test into routine practice can only offer women more choice and provide an experience that best suits their personal needs."
Pregnancy belt lets daddy feel when the baby kicks too
For most fathers, pregnancy means playing a supporting role with little sense of what the mother is really going through. To help give fathers an inside look on what what it actually feels like to be pregnant, Huggies in Argentina has developed what it calls a pregnancy belt. Both the expectant mother and the father wear their half of the system, which then transfers any kicks or other movement felt by the mother over to the father in real-time.
It seems like the sort of thing we might eventually see in childbirth classes to help rope the dads to be into the "fun."
Women in the UK will soon be able to take home pregnancy tests which check on the progress of their baby, instead of just indicating whether they are expecting, experts have said.
The tests are currently sold in the United States, but not licensed in this country.
Experts said studies have now found that the kits are a safe and effective way of monitoring the first few months of pregnancy, before the 12 week scan, and could offer reassurance to women, especially those with a history of miscarriage.
The urine tests tell the mother that the pregnancy is developing normally, but would not provide the kind of information - such as the baby’s size and development - which is then seen in the scan.
Joanne Fletcher, Consultant Gynaecology Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals trust said: “We know early pregnancy can be a very stressful time for many women, and a simple test that could provide reassurance that the pregnancy was progressing may alleviate some of that anxiety. However all women experiencing pain or bleeding would always need to seek medical advice.”
Clare Murphy, from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said it was expected that the tests would be licensed in this country soon, following their success in the US.
The same kits can be used to check whether medical abortions - those administered by a pill - have taken effect. They can also establish whether further intervention is needed following a miscarriage, as they measure whether the specific hormones which reflect pregnancy are falling or rising.
Women who smoke in pregnancy could cause their GREAT GRANDCHILDREN to develop asthma
People with asthma might have their great grandmothers to blame, new research suggests.
Scientists discovered that maternal smoking can cause three generations of children to develop the chronic lung disease.
The news comes at a time when about 250 million women worldwide smoke daily and 300 million people have asthma.
Researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbour-UCLA Medical Centre found that maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy is linked to asthma in the third generation in disease models.
This is known as a ‘transgenerational’ link because the third generation was never directly exposed to nicotine or smoking.
Previous research had already found nicotine exposure was linked to asthma in the second generation.
‘Even though there are multiple causes for childhood asthma, research linking this serious chronic condition to maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy for up to three generations should give mothers-to-be even more reasons to reconsider smoking,’ said Dr Virender Rehan an LA BioMed lead researcher.
‘Eliminating the use of tobacco during pregnancy could help halt the rise in childhood asthma and ensure healthier children for generations to come.’
Worldwide, approximately 250 million women smoke daily, and the number of people living with asthma is expected to grow by about a third by 2025, reaching approximately 400 million.
Twelve per cent of women in the U.S. continue to smoke during pregnancy, resulting in the birth of at least 400,000 smoke-exposed infants per year in the U.S. alone.
In previous studies, the researchers have concluded that the cause of the second generation's asthma was epigenetic modification - an environmental factor causing a genetic change.
Nicotine affects both the lung cells and the sex cells in ways that cause the lungs that developed from those cells to develop abnormally, causing asthma.
The current study ‘paves the way for determining the epigenetic mechanisms’ behind smoking and the transmission of asthma to future generations, the researchers concluded.
Wow what a great thread
The one thing that stuck out was the pregnancy tests showing whether a pregnancy is ending . that's scary! I think just like a pregnancy test how there are false negatives and positives I feel like the new tests will be the same way, would hate to take the test and its displays my pregnancy is ending just to find out that the test is wrong. Talk about traumatic
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