Roundworm found to increase female fertility

Certain species of roundworm found to increase female fertility

Have you ever heard that getting infected with a species of parasitic worm may increase women fertility? If not, it is true. A research paper published in the journal Science has found the same after studying Tsimane women of Bolivia known to enjoy high fertility rates.

As per study researchers, a Tsimane woman can have 10 children in her lifetime. But there are some who are more fertile than others. Researchers from University of California collected information of almost 1,000 women for more than nine years.

Upon assessment, the researchers came to know that these women might be infected with a parasitic worm. This worm could bring changes in the immune system of women making the process of conceiving easier for them. It was found that around 70% of the women in the community were infected with the parasitic worm.

The research findings hold great importance, as it can help in the development of new fertility improving medication. The studied worm was Ascaris lumbricoides, a type of roundworm. This worm was found to increase the fertility and the hookworms decrease the same.

The researchers said those women who had the roundworm were having as many as 12 children and those who had the hookworms were having seven. Women are likely to conceive as their immune system has fewer chances to reject the fetus after they are infected with the worm.

“Whilst I wouldn’t want to suggest that women try and become infected with roundworms as a way of increasing their fertility, further studies of the immunology of women who do have the parasite could ultimately lead to new and novel fertility enhancing drugs”, said the researchers.


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