Posted: December 9, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY
Fertility May Increase From This Parasitic Worm
While this may sound like something out of a horror movie, scientists have discovered that a parasitic worm may increase fertility in women.
The roundworm known as scaris lumbricoides was studied in Tsimane women in Bolivia for nine years and it turns out that women with the parasite had on average two more children than those without. Tsimane women typically have an average of 10 children in their lifetime. Women with the parasite typically experienced shorter intervals between pregnancies as well as earlier first time pregnancies.
While it seems a strange concept, it appears that women with the parasite experience altered immune systems. As a result, researchers believe this immunity interference makes it less likely for the body to reject a fetus.
Parasitic worms are prevalent among the Tsimane as their food and water sources are often tainted with them. They rarely have any negative impact as a result.
While the idea of living with a parasite sounds pretty horrible to most people, you may be surprised to learn that 60% of people are effected by at least one kind of parasite. We typically think that worms are a bad thing but scientists lately have found other benefits of parasites in the body. A recent study also found that people suffering from Celiac disease were better able to digest food, that they normally could not, when they were infected with parasites.
It’s too soon to ask your doctor about becoming a parasitic host if you struggle with fertility, but perhaps with further research, this information could light the way for further fertility treatments.