There is a Parasitic Worm That Can Help You Get Pregnant

Um, ew—a type of parasitic worm can actually increase your chances of getting pregnant. Now for those of us who put our efforts into trying not to get a bun in the oven, not to worry, this little hookworm isn’t going to mess all of that up for you. It’s mainly found in Tsimane, Bolivia, where the scientists researching the indigenous people there spent nine years of studying to come to this conclusion. The study involved 986 Tsimane women, and Yahoo reports that, “those who carried a type of roundworm known as Ascaris lumbricoides had an extra two children on average. They also gave birth at a younger age compared to women without the worm and experienced a shorter interval between pregnancies. Researchers suggest the infection—about 70% of the Tsimane population carry it—may alter a woman’s immune system to make it easier for her to become pregnant.”

However, these results are not consistent across the board as some women who had hookworm had on average three less children in their lifetime compared to those who did not. As possible as it is for this type of hookworm to affect the immune system positively it is also just as possible it affects the immune system negatively. For the millions of women who struggle with fertility, however, research on alternative methods and therapies such as this may be just the answer as the future of medicine changes.

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