Womens Health

Infertility and STDs

One of the most preventable causes of infertility are sexually transmitted diseases.  If left untreated, STD's such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause up to 40% of women to develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).  PID is a cause of infertility by producing scarring of the fallopian tubes.  If however a pregnancy does occur, PID can cause serious complications, such as an ectopic, tubal pregnancy which is potentially fatal to the mother and fetus.

Get a Check Up

If you are considering a pregnancy or are struggling with infertility, get tested to make sure you are not carrying an STD so as to prevent infertility and to minimize the spread of the disease.  According to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are approximately 718,000 cases of gonorrhea and 2.8 million cases of chlamydia that occur yearly.  Even if you don't feel any effects of these STDs, it's important to get tested because most women who are infected with chlamydia and gonorrhea do not have any symptoms.      

Male Infertility due to STDs

Since most men who are infected with STDs show symptoms soon after they are infected, they tend to get treatment in enough time to prevent any damage that could cause infertility.  However, it is still important for men to be tested even if they are not exhibiting any symptoms.  There are 500,000 men per year who develop epididymitis because of an STD.  Epididymitis is a condition that causes inflammation in one of the vessels that carries semen from the testicles. Because of the inflammation, epididymitis can cause these vessels to be blocked, causing male infertility.  If you are trying to get pregnant, it is advisable that both you and your partner get tested for STDs, in order to prevent infertility.

Get Tested Before You Get Treated

If you or your partner are considering starting vigorous fertility treatments, make sure that you have been given a clean bill of health from your doctor.  A previously undetected STD could be the cause of unnecessary and preventable infertility.  Additionally, if you are trying to get pregnant, you will want to ensure that you are free of STD's, so that you do not unwittingly pass infection on to an unborn fetus. 

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