World Hepatitis Day 2017: Hepatitis B can cause infertility in males

World Hepatitis Day 2017: Hepatitis B can cause infertility in males

HBV impacts spermatogenesis negatively in males. This causes a reduction in the sperm count, free testosterone levels, motility, viability, and morphology which further impacts overall fertility and ability to produce an offspring in them.

According to WHO:

  • According to WHO, approximately 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
  • As per their latest assessment, in India, around 40 million people are chronically infected with HBV and 6 to 12 million are suffering from HCV.
  • The ‘WHO Global hepatitis report, 2017’ indicates that a large majority of these people lack access to life-saving testing and treatment.
  • As a result, millions face risk of chronic liver disease, cancer, and death.
  • What the general public is not aware of is that HBV is also one of the reasons behind infertility in males.
  • Hepatitis B virus’ ’S’ protein is known to lower sperm motility.
  • In addition,reduce the fertilisation rate by more than half.
  • Studies indicate that those with HBV are 1.59 times more likely to experience infertility than individuals who are not infected.

According to Dr Hrishikesh D Pai:

  • According to Dr Hrishikesh D Pai,director IVF & Infertility, Fortis La Femme Hospital, Delhi.
  • In addition,secretary general of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India.
  • Hepatitis does not have any effect on the normal functioning of the ovarian or uterine glands.
  • However, this virus impacts spermatogenesis negatively in males.
  • This causes a reduction in the sperm count, free testosterone levels, motility, viability, and morphology which further impacts overall fertility and ability to produce an offspring in them.
  • On World Hepatitis Day, the need of the hour is to offer testing for HBsAg and HCV in infertile couples.
  • This would help them get some clarity on the fertility therapy they should choose and reduce any potential risk of transmission to an uninfected partner or baby.
  • Under such circumstances, it is important to counsel couples who have been tested positive for hepatitis and are seeking fertility treatments.
  • This would in turn enable them to understand the transmission risk of the disease.

Dr Nandita Palshetkar:

  • Dr Nandita Palshetkar, director, IVF and Infertility, Fortis Bloom IVF Center, La Femme and Fortis Hospital Gurgaon.
  • She says,transmission risk from mother to baby increases by 80-90 per cent in HBV cases.
  • In addition, 11 per cent in HCV positive cases, where there is high viral load.
  • Some ways to reduce this risk include semen washing.
  • Furthermore,administering the uninfected partner with HBV vaccination, and treatment with Interferon and Ribavirin.
  • Many couples would have doubts, fears, and misconceptions in their mind about this condition.
  • On World Hepatitis Day, it is important to encourage couples to come out.
  • In addition,talk about these fears and apprehensions through support and peer groups as in the West.
  • People affected by Hepatitis.
  • According to WHO, viral hepatitis has responsible for an estimated 1.4 million deaths.
  • The ‘Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis report (2016-2021).
  • Stated that out of the 1.4 million deaths, approximately 48 per cent of the patients suffer from hepatitis C virus.
  • 47 per cent from hepatitis B virus, and the remaining from hepatitis A and hepatitis E viruses.

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