Expert Talks About How Sexually Transmitted Infections Can Harm Fertility

A majority of men and women tend to get sick from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea and chlamydia at some point in their lives. These infections can lead to infertility, set in without any signs and go unnoticed. However, these are preventable causes of infertility. So if you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection seek help immediately.Also Read – CBI Special Investigations Team investigates Vijay Mallya and takes over Sushant Singh Rajput case

Infertility is observed when a couple is unable to conceive naturally within a year of unprotected intercourse. In addition to certain factors such as advanced maternal age, endometriosis, ovulation disorders, sperm dysfunction, smoking, stress, even sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea, syphilis , herpes and chlamydia have an impact on fertility, making it difficult to conceive. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can be referred to as infections transmitted through unprotected sex which can include vaginal, anal or oral sex, and affects both men and women. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women (an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes) and epididymitis in men (inflammation of the coiled tube next to the testicles). Are you aware? If a woman with an STI is pregnant, the STI also infects her baby. Also Read – Sex Health Startup ‘Slide Safe’ Launched in Nigeria to Discreetly Offer Safe Sex Products and STD Testing Kits

What is the impact of STIs on fertility?

Chlamydia can cause inflammation (swelling) in the fallopian tubes which become blocked, limiting the movement of fertilized eggs to the uterus, and this is called tubal infertility. Gonorrhea is caused by a sexually transmitted bacterium that tends to infect both men and women. It affects the urethra, rectum or throat. In a woman, it affects the cervix. Even sperm and tubal damage are caused by these STIs. Read also – Does oral sex spread deadly STDs? Unprotected Sex Without A Condom Leading To Superbug Gonorrhea

Know the signs of STIs

Women with STIs will experience symptoms such as vaginal pain, burning, abnormal vaginal discharge, spotting, burning sensation after urination, pelvic pain, and irregular bleeding. These infections can permanently damage reproductive organs as well as fertility. Men will experience burning during urination, testicular pain and yellow penile discharge, and obstructive azoospermia that is not sperm in the ejaculate (semen) over time.

What is the treatment for STIs?

If you are diagnosed with infertility due to an STI, your fertility consultant will be the right person to determine an appropriate line of treatment for you. You can opt for various ART treatments available today.

Here are some essential tips to prevent STIs

  • Protect yourself during sex
  • Use an expert-suggested lubricant
  • Go for regular sexual health checkups
  • Get tested regularly for STDs
  • If you are sexually active
  • Early detection and treatment of infections is essential for your overall well-being.

(Article by Dr. Karishma Dafle, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Pune)

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