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Colorado PP Centers Gave Away MAP/EC (Plan B) 30 June 2006

Vasectomy May Be Tied to Abnormal Sperm

CO CLINICS GAVE AWAY MAP/EC 30JUNE. Planned Parenthood said they it will distribute free "morning after" contraceptives at state clinics Friday to protest Gov. Bill Owens' veto of a bill that would have let pharmacists prescribe the pill. Owens rejected the measure in April, saying that spreading prescription power beyond doctors and specialized nurses "strays radically from the accepted norms of medicine." "Every woman should have it in their medicine cabinets, in case of birth control failure, or worse, sexual assault," Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rockies, said in a statement.

The contraceptive, called Plan B, uses a high dose of the hormones found in birth control pills. It is [promoted by supporters] to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's uterus if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, and not have any effect once the egg is embedded in the uterus wall. Other experts believe it causes a "pre-implantation effect", possibly preventing the early human embryo from implanting in the uterine endometrium.

It is not the abortion drug RU-486 (Mifeprex).

The governor has stressed that Plan B is already available through doctors and Planned Parenthood, said Dan Hopkins, a spokesman for Owens. But supporters of the measure have said that it would have made the drug available 24 hours a day at many pharmacies. Opponents say the drug might prevent a fertilized egg from being implanted in a woman's uterus, which they believe would be the equivalent of having an abortion. Eight states – Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington – have laws permitting women to obtain Plan B over-the-counter. [AP, June 28, 2006;]



Babies Conceived After Reversal "May Have Problems" Says Researcher.

Men who undergo vasectomy reversals have up to 10 times the normal rate of chromosomal abnormalities in sperm, a new study has found. The European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology reported last week on the work of a team of Thai researchers, under professor Nares Sukchareon of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

The scientists studied men suffering from obstructive azoospermia, a condition whereby sperm is prevented from mixing with ejaculatory fluid by a physical blockage, such as that caused by vasectomy surgery.

The study found that the men suffered from a significantly higher rate of severe chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm than would usually be found in healthy men.

“The rate of abnormality was about 10 times higher than the [rate] in normal fertile men,” said Professor Sukchareon.

They also found that men who underwent surgery to reverse a vasectomy continued to show high levels of abnormalities. The scientists emphasized that the sperm abnormalities stemmed from the original vasectomy procedure, which blocks sperm from entering the ejaculatory fluid. Sperm production continues after a vasectomy, with the blockage often resulting in the build-up of old, disintegrating sperm within the epididymis.  Pressure build-up within the epididymis frequently leads to greater breakdown of the sperm and increased scarring.

“This study raises a lot of questions,” Professor Sukcharoen said, speaking to the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague on June 21.

“Is the abnormal spermatogenesis reversible, and if so, how long will it take before things get back to normal? Perhaps more importantly, will babies born after vasectomy reversal – either conceived naturally or by artificial reproductive technology – have problems themselves?”

The scientists found that the chromosomal abnormality rate improved over time after a man underwent a vasectomy reversal. Professor Sukchareon said his team is beginning follow-up research to address questions surrounding the study findings.

“But in the meantime, I think that doctors need to be very aware of the possibility that babies born after vasectomy reversal may have problems.”

Vasectomy-Reversal More Difficult than Previously Thought
[Schultz PRAGUE, Czech Republic, June 28, 2006]