Parasitic & Microbial Causes for Infertility In Men/Women
The role of parasites and fungi in secondary infertility-Serbia
[No authors listed]
INTRODUCTION: Parasite-host relationships can cause diminished or absent ability to conceive, ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy with undesired course.
LITERATURE REVIEW: There are reports that some protozoa, helminths and fungi may impair women's reproductive capacity, causing deformities of genital tract, so that conception is impossible, or, if it does occur, normal implantation and development of placenta are impossible. Schistosoma haematobium may cause vulvar papule, swelling, tumors, irregular vaginal hemorrhage, tubular infertility and ectopic pregnancies. Patients with cirrhosis caused by schistosomas have gonadal dysfunction and schistosomiasis itself can lead to tubular infertility. Some authors found microfilaria of Mansonella perstans in follicular aspirates in patients with tubular adhesions. Chronic Entamoeba histolytica infection can cause pelvic pain and dyspareunia in some patients. Although Trichomonas vaginalis is a common cause of tubal inflammation, this protozoa affects semen quality and leads to secondary infertility. Soluble parasite extract of T. vaginalis can lead to impaired motility of 50% spermatozoa in vitro and affects semen quality by increased viscosity and amount of debris, or damage spermatozoid membrane. In enterobiosis, presence of adult worms and eggs in fallopian tube, can be followed by chronic salpingitis and tubal occlusion. Also in ascariosis, presence of adult forms and eggs can lead to acute colpitis. chronic endometritis, salpingitis or ovarian abscess. The consequence of fungal infections, such as colpitis and endometritis, caused by Candida albicans, may be infertility. Also, according to some reports, C. albicans leads to decreased spermatozoan motility.
CONCLUSION: Hence parasites and fungi can cause infertility, we recommend examination of both partners in treatment of infertility.
Case Report. Disseminated aspergillosis complicating pregnancy
Fallbericht. Disseminierte Aspergillose als Komplikation der Schwangerschaft
C. Klock, M. Cerski, A. Dargel and L. Z. Goldani
We report a case of disseminated aspergillosis in a hitherto healthy 24-year-old woman during her 24th week of pregnancy. Relevant findings at autopsy revealed innumerable septate, dichotomously branched (45°) hyphae compatible with Aspergillus in lung and liver tissues. Cerebral histology showed cerebral vessels occluded by hyphae causing cerebral infarction. There was no evidence of invasive aspergillosis in the placenta and fetal tissues. Aspergillus sp. was confirmed by amplification of a specific 357-base-pair amplicon from a paraffin block containing lung tissue. This case illustrates a previously uncharacterized spectrum of disseminated aspergillosis, indicating the need for a heightened awareness that Aspergillus species are opportunistic agents for invasive and disseminated infection in pregnancy.
Parasites Manipulating Baby Sex
“….women with latent Toxiplasma infections are much more likely to have baby boys that girls. The normal sex ratio is 0.51 in favor of boys (104 boys are born for every 100 girls), but in toxiplasma-infected women the ratio is as high as 0.72 (260 boys for every 100 girls).
A new or alien disease doesn't have to kill the infected population to wreak havoc on the population. Imagine* the social changes that would take place if most of the babies were boys.
*Actually there is no need to imagine - this scenario is playing out in some parts of China today, by choice, rather than infection.”
Environmental Causes of Infertility
Richard W. Pressinger, M.Ed. - Wayne Sinclair, M.D. (Board Certified, Immunology)
The evidence has increased dramatically over the past ten years demonstrating how infertility and miscarriage are frequently environmentally caused disorders. This fact offers encouragement to couples attempting to conceive since it strongly implies that lifestyle changes can greatly improve the likelihood of conception. The following report outlines the latest medical research pertaining to this topic – relevant statistics and suspected environmental causes of infertility and miscarriage. People wishing more information on any particular subject should acquire the complete article listed in the box to the right of the summary. Information was compiled by Richard Pressinger, (previously a graduate student at the College of Public Health, University of South Florida) and edited by Wayne Sinclair, M.D. (Board Certified Immunology).
Your odds of being infertile differ with age:
15-24 years old………... 4.1%
25-34 years old……….. 13.1%
35-44 years old………. 21.4%
Source: National Center for Health Statistics; Redbook Magazine, August, 1993
The risk of miscarriage differs with age
20-29 years old………. 10% risk of miscarriage
45 or older…………….; 50% risk of miscarriage
Source: Chatelaine Magazine; November 1993, pg.26
Male infertility increases over past 40 years
One-half of 1% of men were functionally sterile in 1938. Today it has reached between 8-12% (an over 15-fold increase). “Functionally sterile” is defined as sperm counts below 20 million per milliliter of semen.
Source: Dr. Cecil Jacobson, Reproductive Genetics Center, Vienna, Virginia
Miscarriage more common with low sperm counts
Women experiencing miscarriages typically had husbands with lower sperm counts and 48% “visually abnormal sperm.” Men who fathered normal pregnancies had 25% higher sperm counts and only 5% visually abnormal sperm.
Source: Drs. Mirjam Furuhjelm and Birgit Jonson, Dept. of Obst. And Gyn., Sabbatsberg Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden;
International J. of Fertility, 7(1):17-21,1962
40% of all infertility cases are due to the male
Source: Dr. Pat McShane, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston Massachusetts
Nationwide infertility rates
A study by the National Center for Health Statistics estimated in 1988 that 8.4% of women 15-44 years had impaired ability to have children and about half of these couples eventually conceive. (These are overall average infertility figures – statistics will vary greatly depending on the age of the individual).
Source: Dr. Howard Jones, New England Journal of Medicine; December 2, 1993, pg. 1710; Article entitled: “The Infertile Couple”
Fertility treatments not very effective
Expensive fertility treatments resulted I only a 6 percentage point improvement in achieving pregnancy over “infertile” couples who just “kept trying.” In a study of 1,145 couples who had been diagnosed as infertile, only half of them were treated to help attain pregnancy. After a two to seven year follow-up, pregnancies occurred in 41% of treated couples and 35% of the untreated couples.
Source: Dr. John A. Collins, Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; New England Journal of Medicine; November 17, 1983
More evidence that fertility treatments not effective
Another study of 2,000 couples found “roughly the same” small improvements in achieving pregnancy when comparing couples who sought infertility treatments and those who ept trying.
Source: Dr. John A. Collins, Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; Sterility Fertility Journal, Fall Issue, 1993
Infertility treatments a $1 billion a year industry
Source: Health Facts; Vol. 19 (176), January, 1994