Facing fertility Problems? more sex might help
For men with fertility problems, some doctors are prescribing a simple remedy: more sex. In a study of 118 Australian men with damaged sperm, doctors found that having sex every day for a week significantly reduced the amount of DNA damage in their patients' sperm. Previous studies have linked better sperm quality to higher pregnancy rates. Dr. David Greening of Sydney IVF, a private fertility clinic in Australia, and colleagues looked at 118 men who had damaged sperm. Greening and colleagues told the men to have sex every day for a week. After seven days, the doctors found that in 81 percent of men, there was a 12 percent decrease in damaged sperm. Experts think that if sperm is in the body for too long, it has a higher risk of damage. Greening says he instructs couples seeking fertility advice to start with more sex. "Some of the older men look a little concerned," he said. "But the younger ones seem quite happy about it."
Synthetic insulin getting FDA review
The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it is reviewing data on the safety of Lantus, a synthetic insulin. The move comes after a recent, widely publicized study raised the possibility the once-a-day insulin slightly increases the risk of cancer. Because the review is ongoing, patients should not stop taking their insulin without consulting a doctor, the agency said. Patients with Type 1 diabetes and many with advanced Type 2 diabetes must inject insulin to control their blood sugar.
Smoking-cessation drugs get warnings
The FDA will require two smoking-cessation drugs, Chantix and Zyban, to carry the agency's strongest safety warning over side effects including depression and suicidal thoughts. The new requirement is based on reports of changes in behavior, depression or suicidal thoughts while taking the drugs. The FDA is also requiring an additional study on the drugs to determine the extent of the side effects. But the FDA said the drugs are still worthwhile for many. "Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States and we know these products are effective aids in helping people quit," said the agency's Dr. Janet Woodcock.
Crunching swine flu's numbers
The World Health Organization said Wednesday it is working to mathematically model the spread of swine flu to decipher how the outbreak grew so fast. It's becoming clear that actual case numbers are far higher than the agency's tally. According to WHO's Wednesday tally, a total of 77,201 confirmed cases and 332 deaths have been reported in more than 110 countries. But U.S. health officials said last week the number of Americans with the virus may be as high as 1 million.