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Aim: The study evaluates the contribution of oxidative stress and fertility hormones to female infertility in Port Harcourt.
Methodology: A total of 140 women aged 15 – 49 years consisting 70 apparently healthy infertile women who are attending diagnostic fertility clinics in Port Harcourt as test subjects and 70 age-matched healthy fertile women as control were recruited. Subjects were recruited using structured questionnaires after given their informed consent. The levels of Malondialdehyde, total antioxidant capacity, lipid peroxidation index, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, progesterone and estrogen of infertile and the fertile (control) subjects were determined by standard procedures.
Results: There was statistically significant increase in lipid peroxidation index in the test subjects than in the fertile group (p<0.05). Total antioxidant capacity showed a statistically reduced value in the test subjects than in the control at p<0.05. Lipid peroxidation index was significantly increased in test subjects exposed to oxidant agents like alcohol, infections and ulcer than their counterparts who were not exposed to any of the agents (p<0.05). Also significantly elevated lipid peroxidation was observed in test subjects with normal hormone levels compared to those with hormone imbalance (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The outcome of this study suggests that the infertility being experienced by some of the infertile women in Port Harcourt are due not only to endocrine dysfunction, but some order conditions that induce oxidative stress. Thus investigation of oxidative parameters is highly suggested as an adjunct for effective management of unexplained infertility in women. Further studies on estimation of antioxidant enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GHR) are recommended to validate reliability.
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