Women may be less likely to get pregnant if they try to conceive within two years of suffering a concussion, study claims

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  • University of Rochester researchers studied 245 women in New York
  • 102 women who had a concussion were 76 percent less likely to get pregnant
  • Concussions can affect menstruation and can also cause sexual dysfunction

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A study claims that if women have conceived in the past two years, their chances of getting pregnant may be lower.

Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York analyzed pregnancy rates among a group of 245 women. who have suffered multiple injuries.


Their two-year study showed that the rate was 76 percent lower in women who had bruises compared to other injuries, such as sprained wrists or ankles.

Rates were even lower among women who reported sexual dysfunction — the inability to enjoy intercourse during intercourse — six to 10 weeks after their shaking.

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Concussions — which are caused by a bump, blow or blow to the head — can trigger sexual dysfunction in rare cases.

A study claims that women who have conceived in the past two years are less likely to get pregnant.

What are the symptoms of concussion?

Symptoms of a concussion usually appear within minutes or hours after a head injury.

But sometimes they may not be apparent for a few days, so it’s important to pay attention to any problems in the days following a head injury.

Symptoms include:

• Headache that does not go away or is not relieved by painkillers

• Dizziness

• feeling or being sick

• Memory loss – you may not remember what happened before or after the injury

• Clumsiness or trouble with balance

• Unusual behavior – you can easily become irritable or have sudden mood swings

• feeling numb, dazed or confused

• Changes in your vision – such as blurred vision, double vision or ‘seeing the stars’

• being knocked over or struggling to stay awake

Source: NHS


Scientists believe that they can also affect menstruation by stopping menstruation altogether, making cycles irregular or making them longer or heavier.

The scientists studied 102 women who suffered concussions and 143 women with other injuries that required emergency medical attention.

All the injured patients have sustained injuries in car accidents.

Other injuries were severe enough to warrant an X-ray but did not involve broken bones, so the psychological trauma of the incident was similar in both groups.

The team accounted for differences in ethnicity, education, use of birth control, and pregnancy history.

But academics didn’t take into account whether women intended to become pregnant in the first place.

This means that it is possible, coincidentally, that the victims women did not want to become pregnant and that the differences between the two groups have nothing to do with the injuries.

Dr Martina Anto-Ocra, an epidemiologist and co-author of the research, told new scientist: ‘I was not surprised by the results.

‘We know that shaking affects menstruation and can cause sexual dysfunction in some women – it only makes sense that it would affect pregnancy rates as well.’

She argued that another reason behind the decline in pregnancies could be mental stress.

Anxiety can lead to depression, which can mean that women feel less comfortable being intimate with others.

They can also affect women’s hormonal regulation, resulting in reduced fertility in some cases.

Dr Anto-Ocra said: ‘What happens is hormonal regulation gets a little messy. For example, your progesterone and estrogen levels become disorganized.’

George Attilakos, consultant in fetal medicine and obstetrics at University College London Hospitals, said the study showed that the cause of low fertility in women is ‘rare but important to be aware of’.

She told MailOnline: ‘The number of women eliminated was 102, so a relatively small sample. The rest suffered injuries not on the head but in the extremities and were used for comparison.

‘There is certainly a significant difference in pregnancy rates. The study team adjusted for a number of variables, but there is always the possibility that a head injury is a major life event and can change pregnancy planning for a couple.

‘But they also adjusted for the use of birth control to make up for it. With regard to common causes of sub-breeding, it is rare but important to be aware of.’

The latter have been linked to many other medical issues down the line, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Heading in particular has been linked to concussion in football, with players developing a state of memory loss in old age.

A degenerative brain condition was diagnosed in five of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad: Sir Bobby Charlton, Noby Styles, Martin Peters, Ray Wilson and Jack Charlton. The latter four all died with the condition.


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