What is toxoplasmosis and how does it affect fertility?
Research has shown that Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, can have a major impact on fertility and overall health. Those that have contracted Toxoplasmosis can experience significant reproductive health problems as a result, including increased risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. So if you’re trying to conceive, understanding the impact of this parasite on your fertility should be a priority.
What is Toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that is spread in two ways. It can be spread via contact with one of four feline hosts – cats, lions, tigers, and other felines. Additionally, it can be contracted through ingesting contaminated food or drink, such as undercooked meat, unwashed fruits, and contaminated water.
Signs and Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis Infection
For most people, toxoplasmosis infection goes unnoticed and many infected individuals may not experience any signs or symptoms at all. However, others may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches.
How Does Toxoplasmosis Affect Fertility?
One of the most serious reproductive health impacts of a Toxoplasmosis infection is the potential for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. Although the infection can affect both mothers and fathers, women are more vulnerable, as the parasite can cause inflammation of the uterus and damage to the placenta.
In addition, the infection can cause blockages in the Fallopian tubes, reducing a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. It can also damage the sperm, potentially impacting male fertility and reducing a couple’s chance of conceiving.
How Is Toxoplasmosis Diagnosed?
Toxoplasmosis can be diagnosed through a simple blood test. However, if you’re trying to conceive, it can also be beneficial to have an ultrasound or CT scan to look for any potential obstructions in your Fallopian tubes or other signs of potential damage.
Preventing Toxoplasmosis and Protecting Your Fertility
The best way to protect your reproductive health and fertility is to prevent a toxoplasmosis infection in the first place. If you have cats as pets, it’s important to practice good hygiene and wear gloves when changing cat litter or cleaning up after your pet. In addition, it’s important to be sure to cook meats thoroughly and wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. Finally, it’s important to always use bottled water when travelling to countries where the infection is more prevalent.
Ultimately, the impact of a Toxoplasmosis infection on your fertility can be significant, so it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your reproductive health. By following simple hygiene measures and having regular blood tests, you can greatly reduce your risk of infection and ensure that you and your partner are as healthy as possible when trying to conceive.