Monday, 27 April 2009

Women pass on infertility to sons

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Hyderabadi women are increasingly turning infertile with as many as 15 per cent of them suffering from fertility-related problems and transmitting infertility to their sons. This is five per cent higher than women living elsewhere in the world.
According to a research study on infertility and its causes in women in twin cities, environmental pollution caused by polycholrinated biphenyls and pthalate esters is the main culprit for increasing infertility among women. Worse, the problem is passed on to the male children further contributing to high male infertility figures.
High percentage of chemical pollutants in city's atmosphere is leading to a severe infertility problem called endometriosis among women. While other major cities around the world reported 10 per cent of women suffering from endometriosis-related infertility, the incidence is exceptionally high in Hyderabad with 15 per cent of the female population reporting endometriosis.
The study, carried out by the Assisted Conception Services Unit of Mahavir Hospital and Research Centre, traced the high infertility rate to use of plastics and other chemical pollutants. Earlier scientists from Oxford University, London, were baffled by the exceptionally high incidence of endometriosis in Hyderabad. The Wellcome Trust has funded the research project.
According to city fertility expert Dr Roya Rozati of Mahavir Hospital, the subject women underwent laparoscopy if the duration of infertility was more than five years as part of their infertility work-up. If there were any symptoms including pain, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia which is suggestive of endometriosis, then laproscopy was performed even if marriage life was less then five years.
Six hundred and forty-five infertile couples were screened for infertility for over a period of six years. The break-up of the study revealed that 15 per cent of women had tubal factor, 15.6 per cent ovulatory dysfunction, 13.1 per cent endometriosis, 26.9 per cent male factor infertility, 12.8 per cent cervical or uterine factor and 16.2 per cent of couples had unexplained reasons for infertility. A notable feature was that the couples had no history of smoking, alcohol and other addictions. They also consumed little caffeine.
The Oxford Endometriosis Group in the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology had carried out a collaborative research programme with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and the Infertility Institute & Research Centre in Hyderabad.
"Up to 10 per cent of women in any population may have the disease, but the incidence around Hyderabad is particularly high with 15 per cent of women in the city suffering from the problem," says Dr Roya.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis, which causes severe pelvic pain and reduces fertility. The only treatment available for the patients are hormonal drugs which only control symptoms. Removal of pelvic organs or surgery is the other option.

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