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Link Between Child Abuse and Infertility

ASRM,  Oct 22, 2012

Research out of Harvard University and the University of California San Francisco have found a link between childhood abuse and later reproductive disorders.

The Harvard study team examined data from more than 60,000 women surveyed starting in 1989. This research from the Nurses Health Study led to the conclusion that women who reported a history of sexual or physical abuse in childhood were 13% more likely to develop endometriosis than those without an abusive past. Women with greater incidences of abuse or more severe abuse were at an even greater risk of the reproductive condition.

The UCSF team examined 131 female participants of an ovarian aging study. They were asked to complete a survey on childhood sexual abuse and results indicated a traumatic, abusive past led to a 50% higher rate of follicle decline than those who did not suffer abuse.

Dr. Dolores Lamb, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, believes these studies are an important key for understanding the link between sexual abuse and infertility. “More importantly”, she says, “we must all increase our efforts to put an end to childhood abuse and help treat those who have been victimized”.


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