Vaccine That Will Help Infertility

by Dr Agilan Arjunan, Fertility Specialist, KL Fertility Centre (Malaysia)


As many as 1 in 6 couples suffer from infertility. In current times, nearly 50% of infertility are due to female factors and the other 40-50% are due to male factors . In about 1/3 of couples, no conclusive reason can be found.

Some couples will be able to conceive with simple treatment such as an IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination). Others may need an IVF / ICSI (In-Vitro Fertilisation / Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection).

One of the reasons for an IVF is tubal disease, where the Fallopian tubes of the women is blocked and sometimes swollen.

Often there is a clear reason for the blockage such as previous tubal surgery for an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside womb), previous gynaecological surgeries such as for an ovarian cyst and endometriosis.

Infection of the pelvis can also give rise to tubal blockage. A common cause of pelvic infection is Chlamydial infection.

The problem with Chlamydial infection is that it can be very ‘silent’. It means that a woman may not even know that she has the infection because most of the time there are no symptoms (such as pelvic pain, vaginal discharge).

Sometimes  pelvic infections / Chlamydial infection is diagnosed retrospectively during a laparoscopic surgery , where evidence of past infection is seen.

All this can a thing of a past in near future. Scientists has found a vaccine which can nearly eliminate Chlamydial infection, though it is still at its infancy stage.

Just like other diseases (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis, ) where vaccination had helped, this future Chlamydial vaccine will be able to protect women from this silent infection and hopefully reduce the risk of tubal damage.

I truly hope that this vaccine will see the light of day and be available in our country soon.

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