Religion: Christianity and Fertility (Part 1 of 3)

How do the largest sects of Christianity view fertility? Most Protestant churches “have more liberal attitudes towards the traditional infertility workup and treatments”, but [sperm and egg] donation is forbidden. In Roman Catholicism, reproductive technology is considered “morally right” if it plays an assisting role in helping marital intercourse achieve its “procreative potential”. And while the Orthodox church can’t support assisted reproduction, it also does not outlaw relying on medical help.

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Kenya: A Falling Birth Rate, Shifting Demographics, and Allocation of Government Resources

Despite a recent pause in fertility rate decline, the East African nation of Kenya recently resumed its downward trend – decreasing from eight to four women per child over the last four decades. And among Sub-Saharan nations, Kenya is far from alone in that regard, although Kenya has the lowest rate of fertility in East Africa.

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Rwanda: 300% population increase by 2050?

While Africa overall has the world’s highest fertility rates, various changes in countries in the Sub-Saharan region of the continent have led to a decline in fertility rates, even though many of those countries report women as having four or more children. Rwanda has experienced a particularly dramatic plunge in fertility rates, with a decline of two children per mother over a period beginning in 2005 and ending in 2014.

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Egypt: Exploring fertility in a country of 100M

Does a public revolution lead to a private one? Population statistics suggest yes, at least in one country. In Egypt, exactly nine months after the February 2011 Arab Spring, birth rates increased dramatically. Egypt has long been known for its high population growth and fertility rates, and is on the verge of reaching a population of 100M, the highest in the Middle East by a wide margin.

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Pre-conception care for men? The 3 months leading up to pregnancy

“Really, almost all of the important epigenetics, all the important embryologic development, takes place in the first few weeks of the pregnancy. That's when lots of the really key things are happening before people even know they're pregnant. Your brain development, your entire spine, all the nerves are developed in the first couple of weeks."

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Chemicals, the alarm bell of male fertility

The researchers’ report, published in the May 2014 issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility, included a startling finding: Men were far more likely to experience fertility difficulties as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals.

The difference in the effect between men and women was significantly noticeable in the area of phthalates (pronounced “fth-ah-lees”), substances that make plastics flexible and lotions easier to apply. They can also be found in detergents, packaging, textiles, and common household products.

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Frequent flyers, skiing, and hiking: high altitude’s links to fertility

A host of research studies indicate that the effects of high altitude, where oxygen is scarcer and dehydration processes operate faster, could extend to male fertility. Both legend and science seem to agree on this point, including that “aircraft personnel seem to form a disproportionately large percentage of infertile men” (these days, that includes frequent flyers)

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