World Malaria Day (April 25); malaria is a reproductive hazard
Malaria can greatly Dent the Breeding Capacity of Man
New Delhi, April 23: If breeding of malaria causing mosquitoes continues unabated, human’s ability to breed too may hit at low ebb. Reproduction success rate is greatly hampered. Fertility experts have named malaria as a reproductive hazard.
While high malaria fever in man can wreak havoc on man’s sperm counts, it also aggravates the risk of miscarriage in women. In man, the fever can cause severe azoospermia (imperceptible level of sperm in semen), necrozoospermia (sperm in semen is either dead or immobile) or oligospermia (low sperm count). This state is reversible in most cases but if one of the coupling partners is suffering from malaria, the chances of pregnancy greatly diminish.
Dr. Kaberi Banerjee, a leading IVF and Infertility specialist and the Clinical Director of Advance Fertility & Gynecological Center has warned on the occasion of World Malaria Day that malaria can have serious effects on one’s reproductive health. The disease can at times hamper semen quality in males and increase miscarriage risks in females.’
Dr. Banerjee further says, ‘On the occasion of World Malaria Day, awareness needs to be created how the disease and its treatment can impact both sexes’ reproductive. When a man suffers from high-grade fever during malaria, he may suffer from severe azoospermia (no measurable level of sperm in semen), necrozoospermia (sperm in semen is either dead or immobile) or oligospermia (low sperm count).’
Presently, malaria affects people in more than 100 countries across the Globe including India. There are various health effects of this infection and at times its treatment modalities also have some side effects. However, in most of the cases, recovery occurs once the person is cured. Thus, couples who try to conceive around that period when the male partner is affected with malaria or has just recovered success rates are comparatively low.
Dr. Kaberi Banerjee said, ‘Not many are aware that a parasitic disease like malaria can affect the reproductive health of both men and women. Apart from the disease itself, we sometimes see that quinine and chloroquine, the anti malarial alkaloids that are used, cast effect on the quality of sperm and blood levels of some reproductive hormones (follicle-stimulating hormone, testosterone and luteinizing hormones) in males. In some cases, they also hamper the egg quality in females. Malaria also increases miscarriage risks. There could be no better platform than World Malaria Day to raise awareness about these lesser known effects of malaria. However, more research needs to be done in this area to ascertain the exact effects of malaria on male and female infertility.’
She adds, ‘In pregnancy, being diagnosed with malaria, can harm both the mother and the unborn fetus. It can cause severe parasitic infection and anemia in the fetus thus, becoming a major cause of maternal mortality. The disease can also cause premature birth or low weight which leads to increased risk of neonatal mortality.’