City ofRamsar and surrounding villages, situated in the Caspian Littoral of Iran, is one of the natural radioactive areas in the world. One of the side effects of high natural radiation is infertility. In order to examine the fertility status amongst the population of this area, a study by interview qusetionnaire was conducted in June 1992, of all couples of reproductive age who had reffered to a health center in the village of Talesh Mahaleh. The area covered by this health center consisted of 4 villages, with a total population of 1132, consisting of 247 households. The number of women interviewed was 64. Out of this number, 15 were seeking further medical advice for infertility. The results indicated that no couple in the study has more than 3 children, an unexpected finding for the rural areas in the North of Iran. Abortion and still birth rate was reported as high as 27.4% . 50%
of couples who were married for more than 10 years had no more than 3 children. 78% of husbands seemed natives to the area, none had more than 3 children. Amongt women with short duration of residence in the area, the number with 2 children was high, indicating that these children must have been born in other places. It was therefore concluded that the low fertility amongst the couples studied was possibly attributed to the high natural radiation in the area.
In conclusion, even though the number of couples in the study area is small, but considering the relative infertility amongst these couples especially among those who had no more than three
children, we might conclude that similar to other studies; an important environmental factor, i. e. background radiation, which is 250-500 times that of normal could be a contributing factor to the low fertility amongst this group.