Parasitic worm may boost fertility in women, scientists say

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This Parasite May Boost Fertility In Women

Scientists say a type of parasitic worm may boost fertility in women.

A study was conducted on 986 women in Bolivia where the average family has 9 children and 70 percent of the population is infected with a parasitic worm.

Researchers believe when women were infected with Ascaris lumbricoides, a type of roundworm, their immune systems naturally changed so that they didn't reject the fetus, allowing them to give birth to two extra children in her lifetime.

Other parasites, like hookworms, had the opposite effect.

Researchers say the study's findings present an "intriguing possibility" but more work still needs to be done before they can recommend parasites for successful pregnancies.

Take a look back at Kate Middleton's pregnancy style:

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Parasitic worm may boost fertility in women, scientists say
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled her inner New Yorker on Dec. 8 when she stepped out in a black trench coat with white detailing along the cuffs, collar, and back for a day at the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem, New York.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Dinner date! Prince William escorted his ladylove to dinner at a private residence in Gramercy Park in New York. Kate donned a classic lace black cocktail dress for the occasion on Dec. 7. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Talk about a stylish entrance! Kate and Will didn't let the winter chill in New York get them down on Dec. 7. The duo was beaming as they arrived at The Carlyle Hotel in New York City to kick off their three-day U.S. visit. Kate looked stunning in a plum coat with black detailing, which showed off her pregnancy curves. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage)

She's a lady in red! Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visited an EACH (East Anglia Children's Hospice) Appeal Launch Event in Norwich, England, and looked ravishing in a red frock and black pumps. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 19: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meets a finalist in the child champion award, Georgia Alvey, from Cotsford Junior school in County Durham at the Place2be Wellbeing in Schools Awards Reception at Kensington Palace on November 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Hackett/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attends the Place2be Wellbeing in Schools Award at Kensington Palace in central London, on November 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PAUL HACKETT/POOL (Photo credit should read PAUL HACKETT/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium on November 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends Royal Variety Show at London Palladium on November 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of SportsAid meets wheelchair athlete Sheikh Sheikh at a SportsAid workshop at the GSK Human Performance Laboratory on November 12, 2014 in West London, England. (Photo by David Parker - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 09: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on November 9, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
PEMBROKE, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit Pembroke Refinery on November 8, 2014 in Pembroke, Wales. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Action on Addiction autumn Gala evening at L'Anima on October 23, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of The Natural History Museum leaves the Wildlife Photographer of The Year 2014 Awards Ceremony at The Natural History Museum in London on October 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ARTHUR EDWARDS (Photo credit should read ARTHUR EDWARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 21: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the ceremonial welcome for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade on October 21, 2014 in London, England. The President is at the beginning of his four day stay during which he will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
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