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History of PCOD. Pregnant. How important is it to go for stem cell banking ?

Mar 2013
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Practicing since : 1998
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Hello Doc,

My wife has a history of PCOD, we have done necessary medication and are fortunate enough, she is now 8 months Pregnant,

My questions to you are as below.

1) How important is it to go for Stemcell Banking ?
2) I have heard that the research on Stemcell is at a very pre mature level, is it worth getting it done if thats the case ?
3) Also request few important tips keeping in mind the history of PCOD.

Thanks !
Posted Sun, 10 Mar 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 45 minutes later
Thanks for writing in

Cord blood banking has sparked fierce debate in the scientific and medical community, mostly because the cost of private cord blood banking is high and the chances your family will use the blood are low. It is expensive because the cost of processing cord blood and storing it in medical freezers for years on end is considerable.

Two indications exist for use of cord blood cells :

1. Where it is a standard therapy for conditions - leukemias, lymphomas, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, etc.
Recent studies have shown that cord blood has unique advantages over traditional bone marrow transplantation, particularly in children, and can be life-saving in rare cases where a suitable bone-marrow donor cannot be found. Approximately 50% of patients requiring a bone marrow transplant will not find a suitable donor within a critical period. In certain instances, there may be some medical issues around using one's own cord blood cells, as well as availability of cells, which will require treatments done using cells from another donor, with the vast majority being unrelated donors. However, studies have shown that cord blood stem cells can also be used for siblings and other members of your family who have a matching tissue type. Siblings have up to a 75% chance of compatibility, and the cord blood may even be a match for parents (50%) and grandparents.

2. Clinical trials are underway - Also, research is underway for utilization of cord blood stem cells for treating diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke etc, but this is in the research phase. The future does hold promise for these applications. It is also under trial for disorders like cerebral palsy, autism etc, which might affect a child after birth.

That being said, no accurate estimates exist of the likelihood of children to need their own stored cells. The range of available estimates is from 1:1000 to 1:200,000. Empirical evidence that children will need their own cord blood for future use is lacking. There also is no evidence of the safety or effectiveness of autologous cord blood transplantation for the treatment of malignant neoplasms. For these reasons, it is difficult to recommend that parents store their children's cord blood for future use.

I can recommend an excellent website for further reading.
The consensus of various international societies is mentioned below for your perusal
- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 2006 opinion states, "There is still insufficient evidence to recommend directed commercial cord blood collection and stem-cell storage in low-risk families."
- The policy of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) supports public cord blood banking (similar to collection and banking of other blood products, i.e. altruistic, anyone can use it), as well as stating it should be considered under certain circumstances.
- The policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics states that "private storage of cord blood as 'biological insurance' is unwise" unless there is a family member with a current or potential need to undergo a stem cell transplantation.
- Similarly, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not recommend private cord blood banking.

Ultimately , the decision is a highly individualized one, considering your family profile, finances and the information available at present to you. only you can decide whether private cord blood banking is right for your family. If your family has a history of diseases, such as leukaemia, lymphomas, sickle-cell anaemia, immune deficiency disorders, aplastic anaemia or thalassaemia, cord blood storage may be a good idea, then your family's odds of needing a stem cell transplant are higher than the general population's. Your could choose for cord blood banking if there is a faimily history of genetically transmitted illness as listed above.

If you've decided to opt for cord blood banking,
1. Ensure that you choose a well-reputed bank, which is certified, has technological expertise and experience.
2. As a client you must choose a company which offers banking and stem cell therapy options to you. If the stem cell banking company does not provide therapy options, then the purpose of banking is defeated. If they do not invest in trials or do not take definite steps towards stem cell therapy, they are probably not providing enough for the price they charge their clients.
3. It is advisable to choose a bank which has its storage facility situated at a location less prone to natural disasters like floods or earthquakes etc. Also find out if their storage facility has power back up and generators, monitoring systems in place that ensure a controlled environment all the time.
4. The storage facility must also be protected against fire.
5. The bank you are considering should have a good network, accessibility and tie ups with hospitals to ensure that they will be able to deliver your child's stored cord blood cells soon enough when the need arises.

Regarding PCOD, yes you have been lucky to have had an easy conception.
Now that your wife is pregnant, following pointers would help

PCOD patients are prone to gestational diabetes. You should lookout for that, achieve average weight gain, not excessive, and eat sensibly. Moderate exercise in the form of daily walking is advisable.

PCOD patients frequently have co existent hypothyroidism and vitamin D deficiency.. Get tested and take adequate supplements accordingly.

Plan your next pregnancy early, if you wish a second child, as PCOD often causes ovulatory dysfunction and sub fertility.

Meanwhile, enjoy this pregnancy.

I hope I have been able to clarify all points. Feel free to ask for further clarification

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: History of PCOD. Pregnant. How important is it to go for stem cell banking ? 54 minutes later
THANKS A TON Doctor !!!!

You have really clarified all my doubts . . .

Really appreciate the JET response.

Have a nice weekend.

Best Regards,
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 1 hour later
Hi again XXXXXXX,
Thanks for making my day with your wonderful comments of appreciation !
Am glad I could be of help.
You can contact me directly through my profile
WWW.WWWW.WW anytime you wish to consult me directly.
Take care.
Feel free to leave a user review.
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