[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
20-Apr-2009

[ | E-mail ] Share Share

Contact: Dr. Bontha V. Babu
babubontha@gmail.com
986-852-6209
PLOS

Research highlights the negative effect of filarial hydrocele on marriage and sex

A large proportion (94%) of lymphatic filariasis (LF) patients with hydrocele and their wives report the inability to have a satisfactory sexual life because of this condition. In a new ethnographic study, published on April 21 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Bontha V. Babu and his colleagues of the Indian Council of Medical Research highlight the incapacity of hydrocele patients during sexual intercourse, and its impact on marriageability of young patients in rural Orissa, India.

A mosquito-borne parasitic disease, LF, also known as elephantiasis, affects 120 million people globally. The manifestations of the disease are mostly irreversible and a cause of socioeconomic and psychological problems for patients and their families. Hydrocele, an accumulation of fluid in the scrotum that causes it to swell, is one of the chronic manifestations of filariasis among men, and there are 26.8 million cases of hydrocele worldwide. The authors' interaction with patients, their wives, and community members during these studies revealed several problems related to marriage and sex due to hydrocele.

Many patients interviewed reported a feeling of shame and embarrassment, and 87% reported pain in the scrotum during intercourse. Some patients, as well as their wives, desired surgery to remove the hydrocele (hydrocelectomy), yet most have not undergone this procedure for various reasons, including the costs involved and lack of surgical facilities in rural public-health institutions. Sexual dissatisfaction and the physical and economic burdens of hydrocele were seen to contribute to a lack of happiness and communication within couples. Furthermore, women in the community said that affected men are generally seen as the "last choice" for marriage.

The objective of the morbidity management arm of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis is to increase access to hydrocelectomy, the recommended intervention. However, the authors say, hydrocelectomy has not been emphasised by national programmes.

"We plead that the programme makes its initial activities to detect hydrocele cases for referral to a facility for surgery," said Babu. The authors suggest that mass hydrocelectomy camps may be feasible initially to reduce the burden of the condition in highly endemic areas, and that hydrocelectomy should be incorporated into primary health-care services.

###

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: This study has been supported intramurally by the Regional Medical Research Centre. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

COMPETING INTERESTS: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLEASE ADD THIS LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000414 (link will go live upon embargo lift)

CITATION: Babu BV, Mishra S, Nayak AN (2009) Marriage, Sex, and Hydrocele: An Ethnographic Study on the Effect of Filarial Hydrocele on Conjugal Life and Marriageability from Orissa, India. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(4): e414. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000414

Disclaimer

This press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The release is provided by the article authors. Any opinions expressed in these releases or articles are the personal views of the journal staff and/or article contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

About PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (http://www.plosntds.org/) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to the pathology, epidemiology, prevention, treatment, and control of the neglected tropical diseases, as well as public policy relevant to this group of diseases. All works published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases are open access, which means that everything is immediately and freely available subject only to the condition that the original authorship and source are properly attributed. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License, and copyright is retained by the authors.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.