Arch Iran Med. 2020;23(COVID-19 Special Issue): S16-S22.
doi: 10.34172/aim.2020.s4

Scopus ID: 85084169889
  Abstract View: 4969
  PDF Download: 1617

Review Article

Impact of War on Fertility and Infertility

Ayeh Bolouki 1, Fatemeh Zal 1,2*

1 Biochemistry Department, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2 Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
*Corresponding Author: *Corresponding Author: Fatemeh Zal, PhD; Biochemistry Department, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz. Email:, Email: fatemehzal@yahoo.com


Background: War causes more death and disability than many major diseases. There are few studies in the context of the deleterious impact of war on fertility potential; therefore, in this study, we tried to review articles about the adverse effects of war on male/ female fertility potential

Methods: In this study, a total of 183 articles related to the effects of war on fertility potential were examined by a systematic search using known international medical databases.

Results: Among these studies, there were limited studies on the effects of war on female infertility and most studies examined the effects of war on sperm parameters and male infertility. The physical and psychological trauma of war can increase the risk of infertility in men and women. Presence of reproductive system toxins in weapons, stressful periods of war and direct damage to the reproductive system can impair the fertility of men and women. The way war affects male fertility is not clear, but the higher degree of stress during wartime seems to play an important role. Using reproductive toxicants during the war also increases the risk of impairment in reproductive function in men. Some studies have shown the harmful effects of Sulfur mustard as a war chemical toxin especially on sperm quality and male infertility. Oxidative stress induced by free radicals is a major mechanism for the direct effects of Sulfur mustard on male infertility.

Conclusion: The study of past research suggests that exposure to war may be an independent risk factor for reproductive disorders and infertility in men. For female infertility, war leads to menstrual dysfunction.

Cite this article as: Bolouki A, Zal F. Impact of war on fertility and infertility. Arch Iran Med. 2020;23(4 suppl 1):S16–S22. doi: 10.34172/aim.2020.s4.
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Submitted: 26 Feb 2019
Accepted: 12 Oct 2019
ePublished: 01 Apr 2020
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