Apr 24, 2017

PRESTO is Looking for Study Volunteers - Discovering Factors that Affect Fertility and Miscarriage

Not many people know that I have suffered a miscarriage. Chancellor and I got pregnant with our 4th child in September of 2014. At about 6 weeks I started bleeding and went in for an ultrasound which was a crushing experience. I remember knowing within minutes that the baby was not going to make it even though the tech was not allowed to talk about diagnosis. Even though the doctor told us we did nothing wrong, I always wonder if anything I did could have affected the outcome.

Regardless, we were lucky enough to get pregnant right away after the D&C and Naomi was born in July of 2015. Many families are not as fortunate as we are.  They struggle with fertility and pregnancy.  I can't imagine what a family goes through when having to deal with multiple miscarriages.  It is heartbreaking.

The Boston University PRESTO program (Pregnancy Study Online) is looking for women in the Metro Detroit area to become a part of the largest prospective cohort study of fertility and miscarriage in the world. These studies are conducted primarily online through surveys and there is a substudy for biospecimen collection for participants in the Detroit area.

PRESTO has already found some significant information from their data. Have you ever wondered what factors affect fertility or miscarriage?  Some of their study findings include:
  • Female overweight or obesity is associated with reduced fertility; moderate or vigorous exercise in this subgroup may enhance fertility;
  • Lean women (body mass index <25) who exercise vigorously for more than 5 hours per week have reduced fertility.
  • Recent discontinuation of oral contraceptives is associated with a temporary decrease in fertility that resolves after about 3 months; long-term use of oral contraceptives does not appear to harm fertility.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption (<2 drinks per day) does not appear to harm fertility, though drinking in excess of 2 alcoholic beverages per day might be associated with reduced fertility (numbers of such drinkers were small in our study).
  • Excess consumption of caffeine in early pregnancy may be associated with miscarriage.
  • Sugar-sweetened soda consumption in males is associated with reduced fertility (published in abstract form only).
  • Sleep durations of <6 hours per night in males is associated with reduced fertility (published in abstract form only).
PRESTO is looking for more participants to enroll from the Detroit area, especially for biospecimen collection at Henry Ford Health System. They will be studying environmental chemicals in blood and urine and the extent to which they are causes of subfertility or miscarriage. Do you want to be a part of this study which will help identify factors that affect fertility and miscarriage?  Women (and their male partners) between the ages of 21 and 45 years, actively trying to get pregnant (or not doing anything to prevent pregnancy) now or within the next 6 months can apply online: http://presto.bu.edu. Male partner participation is optional, however, women who are already pregnant, using contraception, or using fertility treatments are not eligible.

You can learn more about their study by checking out their website: http://presto.bu.edu, their facebook page: www.facebook.com/bostonuniversitypresto, or follow them on twitter: www.twitter.com/buprestostudy.

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer: