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Schistosomiasis and Infertility in East Africa
Authors: Woodall PA, and Kramer MR
Source: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 98(4):1137-1144; DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0280
Topic(s): Female genital cutting (FGC)
Spatial analysis
Women's health
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: APR 2018
Abstract: Case reports and pathology series suggest associations of female genital schistosomiasis (Schistosoma haematobium) with infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Differential geographic distribution of infertility is not explained by analyses of known risk factors. In this cross-sectional multilevel semi-ecologic study, interpolated prevalence maps for S. haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni in East Africa were created using data from two open-access Neglected Tropical Diseases Databases. Prevalence was extracted to georeferenced survey sample points for Demographic and Health Surveys for Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda for 2000 and 2010. Exploratory spatial analyses showed that infertility was not spatially random and mapped the clustering of infertility and its co-location with schistosomiasis. Multilevel logistic regression analysis demonstrated that women living in high compared with absent S. haematobium locations had significantly higher odds of infertility (2000 odds ratio [OR] = 1.5 [confidence interval95 = 1.3, 1.8]; 2010 OR = 1.2 [1.1, 1.5]). Women in high S. haematobium compared with high S. mansoni locations had significantly higher odds of infertility (2000 OR 1.4 [1.1, 1.9]; 2010 OR 1.4 [1.1, 1.8]). Living in high compared with absent S. mansoni locations did not affect the odds of infertility. Infertility appears to be associated spatially with S. haematobium.