Can Sexually Transmitted Disease affect fertility?
You may not know you have a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) as it can remain undiagnosed for years. But they put your fertility at risk, as well as your partner’s fertility. Fortunately, with advances in diagnosis and treatment, we can overcome these risks.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, most common in people aged 25 or younger. There are no major symptoms so it can go undiagnosed for a long time, but it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) if untreated. This can damage the fallopian tubes, resulting in scarring and possible blockages. If you do fall pregnant, there’s also an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Chlamydia can also affect male fertility, causing problems with the testicles and sperm.
This bacterial infection can affect the vagina, urethra, rectum and penis. They can also affect the mouth if passed on through oral sex. Because you may experience no symptoms at all, it’s possible to unknowingly carry and pass on the infection.
If Gonorrhoea isn’t treated it can lead to future fertility problems in both men and women. Along with Chlamydia, it is a major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal infertility and ectopic pregnancy. For men, if the bacteria spread up the urethra it can affect the prostate and epididymis.
Syphilis is a bacterial STD that can be treated easily with antibiotics, but it can cause serious problems to a foetus during pregnancy if left untreated. It can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage or congenital abnormalities.