It turns out that there is a greatly increased amount of autoimmune disease in women than in men and the timing suggests that it is associated with pregnancy.
In other areas of life it has been made clear that procreation within a marital bond is the only reason to have sexual relations -that is not my belief but it might be healthier for women as the familiarity of a longer term relationship seems to be associated with less allergy-like intolerance to male or infant DNA, and it also would help reduce risk of autoimmune disease developing if both the man and woman are also adequately nourished. Research into autoimmune rates in homosexual relationships is generally not discussed in the medical research that I have seen. One study was performed which found no overall increased rate of autoimmune disease in same sex couples of either gender except for autoimmune thyroid disease. Low hypothyroid problems were more prevalent in lesbians and autoimmune hyperthyroidism was more frequently seen in homosexual men as was psoriasis in homosexual men who also had HIV/AIDS. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-013-9869-9
Speculation would lead me straight to the idea that sufficient iodine prenatally and/or less halides prenatally would have been associated with an increased rate of heterosexual adults who didn’t have an increased rate of autoimmune thyroid problems, but that would be speculative. Zinc deficiency can also be a cause of reduced sexual drive or ED in adult men or hypogonadism. https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/zinc Congenital hypothyroidism can occur in infants born to women with inadequate iodine and diagnosis and early treatment is recommended to prevent a reduced IQ. Asexuality is more associated with congenital hypothyroidism than homosexuality so the prevalence of thyroid disorders later in life may be unrelated to the prenatal environment. Early treatment with the thyroid hormone and/or iodine is recommended to prevent worsening of the infant’s mental and physical health. http://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/rpa/neonatal/content/pdf/guidelines/thyroid.pdf
I have found little research available on long term health of infants born with congenital hypothyroidism or on the affects of iodine deficiency on sexuality.
However the allergic response immune system is similar in both genders. I would encourage consenting adults to have adequate vitamin D3 and/or avoid glyphosate prior to attempting the experience of sharing bodily fluids as autoimmune disease can be very unpleasant. Having adequate iodine and not too much halides is healthy for everyone of any gender and any age, it just would be particularly helpful prenatally as it also helps protect the infant from congenital hypothyroidism and may help protect against later risk of the child developing autism.
An unhealthy man can give a woman autoimmune antibodies which may also increase risk of a miscarriage or reduce likelihood that she conceives/gets pregnant. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3337181 Whether sperm antibodies also can cause autoimmune disease in a woman doesn’t seem to be a search engine result, suggesting that getting women pregnant is a larger medical concern currently than helping women stay healthy. The search engine did turn up an alternative article which mentions that antisperm antibodies can be present in the man or woman. In men the antisperm antibodies were more often found in men who had a vasectomy (suggesting that a vasectomy might be less of an ideal birth control method than it seemed prior to learning that – if it gives mom and dad autoimmune disease than a condom is sounding better for the future child – healthy parents may be happier and more productive on average). In men the antisperm antibodies were associated with infertility if they were present on the sperm cell surface but not if only found in sera/fluid. In women they were associated with infertility and an association with antiphospholipid antibodies was also mentioned without mentioning gender: http://www.whitelotusclinic.ca/blog/dr-fiona-nd/natural-treatments-for-autoimmune-infertility-concerns/
Antiphospholipid antibodies are also associated with spontaneous abortion.
Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) is associated with autoimmune antibodies against the endogenous cannabinoid system “antiphospholipid antibody (APA)” and thought to be affected by a woman’s lack of the immune tolerance needed to accept the presence of the foreign DNA of the baby. The dendritic cell immune tolerance system is affected by the vitamin D receptor system, and is referred to as “maternofetal immunological tolerance” in the following paper: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11684-010-0101-y?no-access=true
Anti-thyroid autoimmune antibodies have also been associated with increased risk for spontaneous abortion. http://www.obgyn.net/pregnancy-and-birth/antithyroid-autoantibodies-unexplained-recurrent-abortion
Providing levothyroxine to women with anti-thyroid autoimmune antibodies has been found to help reduce risk of spontaneous abortion to closer to the average rate for all pregnancies – an overview article of the area of research: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtr/2011/841949/
Good news, the rate of teen births has dropped since 2007 after an increase between 2005-2007. The reason is unclear but the article suggests that the downturn in the economy led to fewer unplanned pregnancies in teens – that could be the reason, common sense could have increased on average in teens even while birth control became less available. See page 5-6: Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Statistics and Programs
by Carmen Solomon-Fears, Congressional Research Service,
January 15, 2016 https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS20301.pdf
Men or women can get autoimmune disease and the other underlying cause is a lack of the surface sugar called sialic acid. . https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070721202506.htm
Sialic acid is not something you can just eat more of. It is an electrically active sugar that we have to make internally. It is combined with proteins in compounds known as glycoproteins and they are found on cell and membrane surfaces. The negative electric charge helps repel the cell surface from colliding into the membrane surfaces, an example would be like red blood cells in a blood vessel – the sialic acid is the bumpers on the bumper cars and the plastic cushion on the wall of the bumper car ring at a carnival. In order to make the special sugar and glycoproteins we need to be healthy and well nourished in a variety of ways in order to produce adequate sialic acid. A series of enzymes is involved which would suggest adequate protein and trace minerals are important to be able to produce sialic acid and adequate surface glycoproteins. The series of enzymes includes many of the CYP family of enzymes which may be inhibited by glyphosate which returns us to an earlier point that avoiding glyphosate might be important for supporting fertility. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genefamily/cytochromep450
More information about sialic acid, which in more recent history has been renamed neuraminic acid, is available in a previous post on this site. http://transcendingsquare.com/2015/10/07/neuraminic-acid-was-known-first-as-sialic-acid/
An abortion may not be helpful to protect a woman’s health either. Childbirth has been believed to be more of a risk of death than having an abortion but a large study (half a million women) linking medical and death records found that psychological risks may be greater for a woman after abortion, as an increased risk of death was found to be associated with having a history of having had an abortion within a year or thirty year time period. A 180 day time period was also tracked but was not associated with increased mortality rate so a direct medical link to having an abortion was considered unlikely. http://afterabortion.org/2012/higher-death-rates-after-abortion-found-in-u-s-finland-and-denmark/
Individuals are all different but having worked with many women my personal impression was that having an abortion was very difficult psychologically for some women compared to giving a child up for adoption. The easily confounding factor that was mentioned in the article or in one of the comments by a site author (El) would be that women who have little support or health or substance abuse issues may be also more likely to have an abortion so it is a correlation rather than a causative link. The comments also include the citation for the academic paper: Reardon DC, Coleman PK. Short and long term mortality rates associated with first pregnancy outcome: Population register based study for Denmark 1980-2004. Med Sci Monit 2012;18(9):PH 71 – 76.
/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./
Regarding health and autoimmune disease in women and men by Jenny