Mild brain grasses (concussions) can have long-term effects on women’s health. For example, they are associated with menstrual irregularities and sexual dysfunctions. But how concussions affect the likelihood of pregnancy was not previously known. In a new study, researchers at the University of Rochester have addressed this problem.
The authors recruited 102 women after concussion and 143 women who had suffered a limb injury. The participants were 18-45 years old.
Women who suffered a concussion were 76% less likely to become pregnant over the next two years than their peers after other injuries. In their calculations, scientists took into account the history of gynecological diseases that could interfere with conception, taking birth control pills and a number of other factors.
The researchers believe their findings should serve as the beginning of a detailed study of the long-term effects of concussion on women’s reproductive health.
It is possible that the observed difference between the groups is not related to the consequences of trauma. Scientists did not take into account which of the study participants planned to have a child. However, the study authors expect their findings to have a physiological explanation.
“I was not surprised by the results. We know that concussion affects menstruation and can cause sexual dysfunction in some women. This can be expected to influence the frequency of pregnancies, ”said epidemiologist Martina Anto-Ocrah, co-author of the study.
Anto-Ochar does not exclude the possibility that psychological consequences of a concussion, for example, depression, could have had a bearing on the likelihood of pregnancy.
Impact of traumatic brain injury on women’s health
The health effects of more serious – moderate to severe – head injuries on women have been investigated earlier. It is known that women after TBI compared with women who did not have it:
- menstrual irregularities are more common (irregular periods, their absence);
- usually fewer children;
- not much more trouble conceiving;
- more often complications develop during childbirth;
- below is an assessment of the state of their own health.