Human Reproduction Update. Jan/Feb 2016.

A systematic review on endometriosis during pregnancy: diagnosis, misdiagnosis, complications and outcomes.

Leone, U, et al.

I frequently get asked about the impact of endometriosis on future pregnancy and especially rates of miscarriage.

This review concludes: “Complications of endometriosis during pregnancy are rare and there is no evidence that the disease has a major detrimental effect on pregnancy outcome. Therefore, pregnant women with endometriosis can be reassured on the course of their pregnancy.”

The effects of chemical and physical factors on mammalian embryo culture and their importance for the practice of assisted human reproduction.

Wale, PL, et al.

This is one for the CREI Fellows.

Various chemical and physical factors have adverse effects on the viability of embryos. The effects can be long-term. Therefore, optimising the in vitro environment is essential.



An essential to all of us is water! Tap water in the majority of Australia is extremely safe to drink, accessible and inexpensive! Tap water contains fluoride, which concerns some but this is an essential element required for developing strong bones and teeth.

Unfortunately when we are unable to access a tap you can be paying a premium for bottled water. This may mean that people opt for another less healthy drink option, usually a soft drink or juice. Water is of course free of sugar and therefor, there is an absence of the acidity found in soft drinks and juices. It is the acidity in these drinks, when drunk regularly that can destroy tooth enamel which results in tooth decay. In some parts of the world children under 10 years of age are having their teeth surgically removed due to the teeth rotting down to the roots!! Soft drink and juice consumption has been blamed for this in a lot of cases. Water should always be the drink of choice. The sugar in soft drinks can sometimes contribute to weight gain.  Water of course is free from calories!


Infants should only be given breast milk and or formula, exclusively until 6 months of age. Cooled boiled water can be given in a bottle or cup from 6 months.  Up until 12 months of age the milk should only be breast milk  & or formula. After 12 months cow’s milk can be introduced to their diet. Babies should not be put to bed with a milk bottle as this also encourages dental caries. At no time, should babies be given a bottle with soft drink or juice in it. It is also advised that a baby should only be drinking from “sippy” cups from 12 months of age and no longer using a bottle at any time of the day.


Water is an essential to health & well being. In pregnancy, being well hydrated helps particularly with fluid retention, it can also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and makes you feel better. Dehydration can make you feel tired  and cause the bowel to become sluggish. So if you are feeling tired ensure you are drinking enough and ensure your iron level is adequate.

In pregnancy 2-3 litres of water is encouraged dependent on activity level and the weather. Some elderly and children should be encouraged to drink before they become thirsty.

Next Month

The Food Pyramid and what has changed.


Healthy Eating Guidelines for Life & Pregnancy

The Australian Dietary Guidelines updated their recommendations a year or so ago. Many of you who might have been familiar with the “Healthy Food Pyramid or Healthy Food Circle” may not have seen the change to these diagrams and their associated information.

Visually it hasn’t changed but the content inside has been updated to reflect current recommendations. There are now 5 layers in the pyramid or divisions of the pie (circle). This diagrammatic representation is by no means new and has been in existence for 30 years. In 2012 a survey revealed that the average Australian was getting over a third of their daily energy requirements from junk food.

The evidence is mounting that many are confused about food types and the nutritional levels of food and this has lead to the change in the food “pyramid” guidelines for the first time in 15 years. Food fads & diets are very topical and there are not many days that these aren’t being discussed in the media. Add to this the large number of reality programs on TV & cooking programs and it is no wonder people are feeling overwhelmed.

Over the next few weeks I plan to break down the Pyramid and explain it at each level including food amount  and provide additional dietary requirements for pregnancy where it is recommended.

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