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Microbiome

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Initiating an intrauterine device (IUD) with copper over a 180-day period significantly increased the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in a group of women seeking contraception in Zimbabwe, while hormonal contraceptive methods did not affect BV prevalence. In the 234 women using the copper IUD, BV prevalence was assessed at baseline and at 30, 90 and 180 days, and was 27% (slightly higher than the BV prevalence in American women), 35%, 40%, and 49% respectively. While beneficial lactobacilli frequency and density levels did not change in the copper IUD participants’ vaginal microbiome, an increase in Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae was observed. Overall, copper IUDs increased the relative risk of BV by twofold. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology →Takeaway: This study highlights the negative effects of copper IUDs on the vaginal microbiome, yet previous studies have illustrated the negative impacts of hormonal contraception on the gut microbiome. For individuals seeking a…

Studies show that overweight mothers are more likely to have overweight children, but why? A recent study, looking at 935 mother-infant pairs, found that infants born vaginally to overweight mothers were 3 times more likely to be overweight by the age of 3 when compared to infants born from normal weight mothers. Those born via C-section from overweight mothers were 5 times more likely to be overweight. In normal weight mothers, birth mode made no difference in the risk of overweightness for their offspring. Scientists hypothesize that this increased risk of overweightness in offspring is due to alterations in gut bacteria, specifically an over-abundance in Lachnospiraceae. JAMA Pediatrics →Takeaway: While overweight mothers are more likely to have overweight children, whether born C-section or vaginally, it’s not all doom and gloom. Practicing a lifestyle that cultivates a balanced microbiome can help maintain healthy weight throughout life. Make a vaginal birth (if possible) and breastfeeding a…