Amazon.com lists over 11,000 items under the search term "fertility"
QUESTION: I had a question about something you wrote:

Interestingly enough, if wild yam is taken in small doses (a cup of tea or 10-20 drops of the tincture daily from onset of menses until mid-period) it increases fertility!

In either case, the effect seems to be triggered by the large amount of hormone-like substances found in this root. 

When taken daily, these substances may be converted into progesterone, thus decreasing the possibility of conception.

It was my understanding that this was a common misconception about dioscorea, but that it actually does not affect the hormones in any way in its natural state.

My understanding was that there are components in dioscorea (such as diosgenin) that can be made into synthetic progesterone, but that this conversion process does not naturally happen in the body, it must be done in a lab.

For that reason, taking wild yam in hopes to alter or affect hormone levels is useless.

Susun's response:
Thanks for your note. The field of plants and hormones is expanding by leaps and bounds, but we are still far from understanding what happens in the body when we eat certain plants.

Of course, I mostly speak from experience, not only mine, but those of thousands of women over thousands of years.

Many plants, especially large starchy roots, contain phytoestrogen and phytosterols.

These substances are most definitely converted into hormones in the human body and numerous studies attest to it.

They must, however, be fermented out of the plants by gut action and some people have too little gut flora to manage the job.

There is no progesterone, or any other hormone, in wild yam, but your body can make hormones out of it if it is taken internally.

Which hormones is up to your body, so I may be wrong when I say progesterone will be the result. But there will be a strong effect on hormones.

Check out my book New Menopausal Years: the Wise Woman Way for an article I did debunking wild yam creams. I certainly agree with you completely as far as external use is concerned.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed
From: SusunWeed.com

Photo Credit: Dioscorea esculenta (Lour.) Burkill, by Ahmad Fuad Morad on Flickr
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Image: FERTINATAL(tm): Supplementation with DHEA for 6-20 weeks may enhance functional ovarian reserveFERTINATAL, the first and only dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) nutritional supplement designed to enhance female fertility, has entered the market today.

The launch took longer than expected, because Fertility Nutraceuticals, LLC - which developed the supplement - made unusual efforts to ensure that FERTINATAL™ DHEA for women would fulfill all of the required specifications which the product was designed for, with consistency across every tablet, according to Fertility Nutraceuticals.

Now, we are excited to be able to offer probably the most reliable micronized DHEA product on the market, and the only one specifically designed for women who have a difficult time conceiving, notes Yu Kizawa, the company’s Director of Marketing and Sales.

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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: 50 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Your Fertility50 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Your Fertility
-- Practical advice and a holistic approach to help you conceive, including simple dietary and lifestyle changes and do it yourself complementary therapies.
In this accessible and informative guide, Sally Lewis explains how age, sexual infections, diet, excess weight, stress, and anxiety affect fertility.

Teaching how to discover the best time for conception; understand the link between body, mind, and fertility; and manage stress and relax to prevent anxiety, this is the ultimate guide to increasing the likelihood of conception at any age.


Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 128 pages
Click to order/for more info: 50 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Your Fertility
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Image: Clearblue Easy Fertility MonitorAccurately pinpointing the fertile period and timing intercourse accordingly are critical when trying to get pregnant.

Healthy couples only have a 25% chance of conceiving each month and it takes on average 6-18 months to get pregnant.

But new research proves that one at-home fertility predictor in particular can significantly improve the odds of a quicker conception.

The study has shown that use of the Clearblue® Easy Fertility Monitor can dramatically increase a woman's chance of conception over two cycles of use. The results of this controlled study are being published in the February issue of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's publication Fertility and Sterility. Clearblue® Easy Fertility Monitor is manufactured and marketed by Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc.

Findings revealed that approximately 23% of women who took part in the research using the monitor became pregnant during the first two cycles of use, compared with 14% of the women who were not using the Monitor.

This indicates that over a third more women conceived using the Clearblue® Easy Fertility Monitor. Additionally, product feedback was overwhelmingly positive with 90% of participants agreeing that the Fertility Monitor was easy to use.

Read full article
Photo credit: Clearblue® Easy Fertility Monitor
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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Pregnancy MiraclePregnancy Miracle
by Lisa Olsen

-- A 279-page, instantly downloadable e-book presenting a 5-step, sure-fire, 100% guaranteed, clinically proven holistic and ancient Chinese system for permanently reversing your infertility and your partner's infertility disorders and getting pregnant quickly, naturally and safely within 2-4 months without drugs, dangerous surgeries, side effects, or expensive infertility treatments.

It's probably the most powerful infertility reversal system ever developed, and currently the best-selling e-book of its kind on the entire Web!

Here's what the author Lisa Olson had to say about her incredible program:
After 14 years of trial, error and experimentation, I finally discovered the answer to infertility and developed a fool-proof system to getting pregnant the natural way - no drugs, or surgery necessary.


It took a lot of research to get to where I am today, to know exactly what works and what doesn't. Yes, after desperate trial and error, countless of useless treatments, disappointments and agony, a simple holistic system opened the door to my new and much brighter life of motherhood.

I was also excited to see that my other infertility related symptoms had diminished. After years of waiting I was finally free from Infertility! I have become a proud mother of two.

"And now I'm finally revealing my secrets in this new 'encyclopedia' of pregnancy called, Pregnancy Miracle."

"I will be your own personal coach, take you by the hand, and lead you through the lousy advice, hype and gimmicks... and directly to the sort of inner balance perfection that will end your battle with infertility forever and help you become a proud mother of your healthy children."

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Click to order/for more info on this helpful program:
Pregnancy Miracle
Image: Twins, by Joelle Inge-Messerschmidt / www.photographybyjoelle.com, on Flickr
Photo credit: PhotographyByJoelle.com
Twins can occur naturally in any woman at any time. However, there are certain factors that increase your chances of having twins.

These factors include:

Family History:
  • Having a maternal history of twins or other multiple births increases your chance of becoming pregnant with twins considerably.

Cultural Background:
  • People of African American descent are more likely to have twins or multiple births. People of Asian or Hispanic descent are less likely to have twins.

Age:
  • Your chances of having twins increases as you grow older. Women produce more ovulation-stimulating hormone as they age, increasing your chance of releasing more than one egg during ovulation. The chance of having twins rises to 4% between the ages of 30 and 34, and to 5% between the ages of 35 and 39.

Previous Twins:
  • If you’ve already had twins, it is more likely that you will have another twin pregnancy.

Previous Pregnancies:
  • Women who have had four or more previous pregnancies are the most likely to have twins.

Fertility Drugs:
  • Taking fertility drugs or undergoing fertility treatments can significantly increase your chances of having twins or another type of multiple birth. In some cases, women can increase their chances of having twins up to 20%.

Weight Gain:
  • A study by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology linked the recent rise in multiple births with the steady rise of obesity in North America. Women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 are more likely to have twins than those in the suggested BMI range of 19 to 25.

Increasing Your Chances of Having Twins:
  • So, are there any proven methods to increase your chances of having twins? Well, there are a number of ways that you can go about trying to have twins, but, as with anything, there are no guarantees. Having twins is mostly down to luck, although there are a few things you can do to help Lady Luck along.

Focus on Nutrition:
  • Women who are well nourished are more likely to have twins or multiple births. So focus on eating well and eating enough to maintain a healthy weight.

Eat Yams:
  • Yams, a type of sweet potato, have also been linked with multiple births. A tribe in Africa whose diet consists mostly of yams was recently found to have exceptionally high rates of twins and multiple births. Yams are thought to contain chemicals that stimulate hyperovulation, increasing your chances of conceiving twins.

Try Fertility Drugs:
  • Though not recommended unless you are suffering from fertility issues, fertility drugs do seem to greatly increase your chances of having twins. The fertility drug clomiphene (Clomid) increases your likelihood to 8%, while menotropins (Pergonal) increases your likelihood to 18%. Fertility drugs do cause side effects though and should never be taken without the supervision of a medical doctor.

Try Fertility Treatments:
  • Fertility treatments are also associated with higher rates of multiple births. In-vitro fertilization involves implanting more than one embryo into your uterus, which means your are more likely to conceive twins or higher-order multiples. Like fertility drugs, fertility treatments should not be undergone without approval from a medical doctor and are usually reserved for couples who are having difficulties conceiving.

Full article: Pregnancy-info.net

Photo credit: Twins, by Joelle Inge-Messerschmidt / photographybyjoelle.com, on Flickr
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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: The Brotherhood of Joseph: A Father's Memoir of Infertility and Adoption in the 21st Century, by Brooks Hansen. Publisher: Modern Times; First Edition edition (May 27, 2008)The Brotherhood of Joseph: A Father's Memoir of Infertility and Adoption in the 21st Century
by Brooks Hansen

-- Offering men a chance to be heard and women a rare opportunity to view the struggle with infertility from a male perspective, The Brotherhood of Joseph brings to life the anger, frustration, humor, heartbreak, and sense of helplessness that come to dominate the husband’s role.

As his remarkable account reaches its finale in Siberia, however, Hansen’s once again becomes the story of a husband and a wife who, even after years of medical frustration and fruitless paperwork, still must take one last risk together and trust in their most basic instincts before their new family can be born.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comHardcover: 288 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Brotherhood of Joseph
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Image: Miscarriages can be PreventedTreatment of Antinuclear Antibodies
Women with ANA are treated with prednisone, a corticosteroid, which suppresses the inflammatory process and stabilizes the cell.

Prednisone does not pass through the placenta easily and is also broken down by enzymes in the placenta so that the fetus is exposed to only trace amounts.

Additionally, the body produces the equivalent of 8 mg per day of this corticosteroid. When indicated, Prednisone should be started prior to conception.

Treatment for Antiphospholipid Antibodies
Antiphospholipid antibodies are treated with low dose (baby) aspirin and a blood thinner called Heparin. Heparin is a very large molecule and is unable to cross the placenta. Aspirin is able to cross the placenta but the dose used is so small that the fetus is unaffected.

The effectiveness of treatment is much greater when the medication, if indicated, is started prior to conception and continued throughout the pregnancy. All medication, if indicated should be discussed with one's physician.

Treatment for Antithyroid AntibodiesIn IVF patients, antithyroid antibodies (ATAs) are treated with intravenous immune globulin (IVIg) before the IVF transfer. There is no specific treatment for ATA in patients with recurrent miscarriage unless it is associated with other abnormalities.

Treatment for Immunophenotypes
Women who have an elevation of NK cells are candidates for immunologlobulin G infusion (IVIg). The dosage of IVIg is 400 mg/kg/day for three consecutive days, monthly, until the NK cells become normal or until the 28th week of pregnancy.

In some studies, autoantibodies to phospholipid and nuclear epitopes were demonstrably lower after IVIg. Some researchers have used Enbrel, a TNF alpha inhibitor, instead of, or in addition to IVIg. Presently, there is not enough data to assess the true efficacy of Enbrel therapy.

Full article: Rialab.com

Photo Credit: RiaLab.com
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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Marriages and Pregnancy Losses: One Woman's Personal Experience, by Kathleen Smith. Publisher: lulu.com (February 3, 2011)Marriages and Miscarriages: One Woman's Personal Experience
by Kathleen Smith

-- Kathleen Smith shares her experience regarding the three pregnancy losses she experienced.

The trials and emotional changes, the feelings experienced when being around other pregnant woman after having had a pregnancy loss, how turning to God got her through them, and more.

Kathleen, a mother of three and entering her sixteenth year of marriage, relates her personal feelings and emotions.

As you read the book you will experience a conversation with Kathleen about this topic, and learn how one woman dealt and struggled with this topic.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 80 pages
Click to order/for more info: Marriages and Pregnancy Losses
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Image: David just born, by Jessica Merz on Flickr.comThu, Oct 4, 2007 (Reuters Health) - A Swedish study indicates that the fertility of women with type 1 diabetes was reduced prior to 1985, but since then it's begun to normalize, if diabetic complications were avoided.

Stricter metabolic control exercised in the past 20 years may have helped prevent subfertility, the researchers speculate in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

Dr. Junmei Miaof Jonasson and colleagues from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, identified all 5,978 women who had been hospitalized for type 1 diabetes when they were 16 years of age or younger. These subjects were followed until the end of 2004 through linkage to nationwide registers.

The investigators used a standardized fertility ratio, the ratio of observed to expected number of live births, to express the relative fertility rate. They also compared the proportion of newborns with congenital malformations with that of the general population.

A total of 4013 live births were recorded among the diabetic women during follow-up. The team reports that the standardized fertility ratio was smaller than expected (0.80). For women with retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, or cardiovascular complications, the respective fertility ratios were 0.63, 0.54, 0.50, and 0.34.

Stratification by year of first hospitalization showed that the reduced fertility was confined to women hospitalized before 1985. However, those with diabetic complications also had lower fertility rates in all calendar years.

There was also a decrease in the proportion of infants with congenital malformations born to women with type 1 diabetes, from 11.7 percent during 1973-1984 to 6.9 percent during 1995-2004. However, the proportion of congenital malformations was consistently higher than that for the general population.

Our results suggest that the new strategy with more rigorous metabolic control instituted in the mid- or late-1980s has been successful also with regard to fertility, Jonasson said in an interview with Reuters Health.

However, the risk of congenital malformations in live newborns of mothers with type 1 diabetes is higher than that of mothers in the general Swedish population although a decreasing trend has been observed in the last 30 years, she noted.

Thus, Jonasson said, we tell women that when they plan to have a baby the metabolic control must be normal or near-normal, before and after conception and in early pregnancy.

Because the study is based on the Swedish population, Jonasson cautioned. The results might not be generalized to other populations due to the difference in the quality of health care and strategies used to control diabetes.

Photo Credit: David just born, by Jessica Merz on Flickr.com.
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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future, by David Wolfe. Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future
by David Wolfe

-- Superfoods are vibrant, nutritionally dense foods that have recently become widely available and which offer tremendous dietary and healing potential.

In this lively, illustrated overview, well-known raw-foods guru David Wolfe profiles delicious and incredibly nutritious plant products such as goji berries, hempseed, cacao beans (raw chocolate), maca, spirulina, bee products, and a host of others.

As powerful sources of clean protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats and oils, essential fatty and amino acids, and other nutrients, they represent a uniquely promising piece of the nutritional puzzle.

Each superfood is described in detail, accompanied by easy and delicious recipes.

This accessible guide presents persuasive arguments, based on sound science, for the pivotal role of superfoods in promoting nutritional excellence, health and well-being, beauty enhancement, sustainable agriculture, and the transformation of diet, lifestyle, and planet.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 352 pages
Click to order/for more info: What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir
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Image: HomeopathyFollowing is a case of a 42-year-old man, who was suffering from Oligospermia [low sperm count].

He had previously consulted many specialists but none of their treatments had shown any results.

Discouraged and depressed, he stopped the treatment and stopped socializing as well.

After 6 years, at a friend’s suggestion, visited Dr. Batra's® Clinic.

The doctor at the clinic reviewed his case after taking a detailed history, examining the patient and evaluating his reports.

Read more: Homeopathy cured oligospermia and gave a new meaning to his life
Photo Credit: Homeopathy, by sherylbch, on Photobucket.
All Rights Reserved.






TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: The Brotherhood of Joseph: A Father's Memoir of Infertility and Adoption in the 21st Century, by Brooks Hansen. Publisher: Modern Times; First Edition edition (May 27, 2008)The Brotherhood of Joseph: A Father's Memoir of Infertility and Adoption in the 21st Century
by Brooks Hansen

-- Offering men a chance to be heard and women a rare opportunity to view the struggle with infertility from a male perspective, The Brotherhood of Joseph brings to life the anger, frustration, humor, heartbreak, and sense of helplessness that come to dominate the husband’s role.

As his remarkable account reaches its finale in Siberia, however, Hansen’s once again becomes the story of a husband and a wife who, even after years of medical frustration and fruitless paperwork, still must take one last risk together and trust in their most basic instincts before their new family can be born.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comHardcover: 288 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Brotherhood of Joseph
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK

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Image: Giving birth after 30 lowers cancer risk: Study
Scientists have unveiled another benefit to waiting to have kids: Women who give birth after the age of 30 are less likely to develop endometrial cancer.

A new study out of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California examined 8,671 cases of endometrial cancer and 16,562 control subjects, and found women who give birth after 30 are 44% less likely to develop the disease than those who give birth before they turn 25.

While childbearing at an older age previously has been associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer, the size of this study definitively shows that late age at last birth is a significant protective factor after taking into account other factors known to influence the disease -- body weight, number of kids and oral contraceptive use, Veronica Setiawan, lead investigator, said in a statement.

The study posits three possible theories to explain its findings:

- Women who can become pregnant at an older age may already possesses healthier endometriums.

- Exposure to the hormone progesterone during pregnancy may help fight off endometrial cancer during critical a period in the disease's development. Endometrial cancer tends to strike older women.

- Premalignant or malignant cells of the uterine cavity's mucosal lining, which are more common in older women, may be shed during childbirth.

"This study shows an important protective factor for endometrial cancer, and when the exact mechanism by which it protects women from getting the disease is known, it can help our understanding of how endometrial cancer develops and thus how to prevent it," Setiawan said.

Endometrial cancer forms in the tissue lining the uterus. It can be treated with surgery, though survival rates vary depending on how early it's diagnosed.

Source

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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Zita West's Guide to Fertility and Assisted Conception: Essential Advice on Preparing Your Body for IVF and Other Fertility Treatments, by Zita West. Publisher: Random House UK (April 12, 2010)Zita West's Guide to Fertility and Assisted Conception: Essential Advice on Preparing Your Body for IVF and Other Fertility Treatments
by Zita West

-- Embarking on IVF—or any assisted fertility treatment—can be a very demanding and stressful experience, but the right physical, nutritional, and emotional support can lessen these stresses and strains and increase the chances of success.

Here a leading fertility and pregnancy expert offers an in-depth explanation of all aspects of fertility and, uniquely, addresses the issues involved in using assisted conception.

She explains fertility from preconception and trying naturally to assisted conception, what is involved in the IVF process, how to prepare your body to increase the chances of conceiving successfully, the importance of a proactive approach to diet and nutrition, and how complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, can increase the chances of success.

Including interviews with leading experts in the field, case histories from patients, and the author's own holistic principles, this is an invaluable guide for the growing number of people who are considering, or have already embarked on, medical intervention to enable them to conceive.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 500 pages
Click to order/for more info: Zita West's Guide to Fertility and Assisted Conception
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Image: 5 Pack Menopause FSH Midstream Urine Kit Pregnant Hot Flash PMS | Fast Results (3-5 minutes)
Economical alternative: Menopause FSH Midstream Urine Kit
Measure, Track and Plan Your Mid-Life Transition says the advertising on the feminine pink and white box. If only it were so easy! The newly marketed Menopause Home Test by Physicians Laboratories claims to provide a means for midlife women to monitor their hormonal status in much the same way as a home pregnancy kit: with a urine sample and a plastic indicator.

If the pretty packaging doesn't lure you in, as the company hopes it will, the box also comes complete with dire warnings for the skeptical consumer: Undiagnosed menopause can devastate your health, family, and social/sex life. Their website further trumpets the alarm: It's your health -- it is an 'emergency!' And in a parody of self-empowerment, the manufacturers claim that their test will provide women control and power over their midlife transition.

Consumers are advised to use the test every six months from age 35 at an incredibly hefty $59.95 US per pack (each pack holds 2 tests). Considering the average woman does not reach menopause until her early-fifties, the company is banking that the baby boom generation is very naïve indeed, with each woman willing to dish out around $1200 to affirm her menopausal status.

That's assuming that FSH tests make a contribution to the health of mid-life women. They don't.

The traditional blood test to diagnose menopause is a measurement of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in the blood. FSH is a hormone that is consistently elevated many years after a woman's last menstrual period.

However, during the years before the last menstrual period and during the early years after the last menstrual period, FSH levels regularly bounce up and down. An elevation of FSH may mean that a woman will never have another menstrual period, and therefore is menopausal, but it may also mean that this hormone is in its normal bouncing-around phase, perhaps years before a woman's periods will have finished.

Like the blood test, the new urine test sold in the Menopause Home Test measures FSH. And like the blood test, the urine FSH test would not be expected to diagnose menopause with certainty until many years after a woman has had her last menstrual period - in other words, when a diagnosis of menopause would not require any testing at all.

FSH tests, however, may be useful for women who are having trouble becoming pregnant. An FSH result on day 3 of a spontaneous menstrual cycle can predict whether a woman's eggs have aged beyond the likeliness of successful pregnancy and birth. FSH levels should be at their lowest in the early part of a woman's cycle. Women with elevated FSH values on day 3 are unlikely to become pregnant (or, if they do become pregnant, they are unlikely to carry the pregnancy very long). An elevated FSH reading can be disappointing, but it can also save a woman from spending large sums of money on assisted reproductive technologies that will not likely be successful. However, this urine kit is not designed to pick up the subtle increase in day 3 FSH that will help with fertility prediction, so don't waste your money on it.

The woman who is having an increase in the variability of her menstrual cycles in her 40s or early 50s is almost certainly a normal healthy woman with age-appropriate changes in ovarian function. The presence of other symptoms, such as hot flashes, breast tenderness, or mood changes, may be due to these natural hormone fluctuations or may be fortuitous, due to aging or to life circumstances. No FSH test, either blood or urine, will add information of any use to the health or well-being of women in this age group.

The implication by the makers of Menopause Home Test that the elevation of FSH in a woman's body represents a disease requiring immediate medical attention and therapy is misleading and insulting. The makers of the Menopause Home Test are preying on our society's fear of aging and hoping to turn a quick profit from the medicalization of menopause, a natural and perfectly normal transition for the midlife woman.

Source: Canadian Women's Health Network






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More "Pregnancy Over 40" blogs to visit:
Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
Pregnancy Stories by Age - Daily blog of hope and inspiration!
You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!

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