How can STDs affect my fertility?

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STD testBeing aware and understanding your sexual health can be quite empowering and help you gain control over your body. Sexual health is defined as embracing our sexuality throughout a lifetime, and it can affect our physical and emotional health. 

EuroCARE’s team considers this topic quite relevant and important for everyone. We would like to contribute to raising the awareness of preventing your sexual health, thus your fertility. Therefore, in this article, we would like to break down the correlation between sexually transmitted infections and fertility. 

So, if you want to gain another very sexy feature – knowing and being aware of your sexual health, stay with us and continue reading! 

Why is it important to be aware of STD?

Several sexually transmitted infections can be silently affecting your health. Most of them don’t have obvious symptoms and if left untreated can harm your overall health, not only your reproductive health. Even though a lot of campaigns and sexual education promotions have happened in the last decade, a lot of women (also men) are still avoiding STD checkups and do not keep track of their sexual health. 

Some of the STDs can result in harming your immune system, some of them can cause tubal damage in women. The harm of keeping an STD untreated and undiagnosed is pretty much big, and not being aware of carrying some of them can bring even bigger harm to your body, and your potential partner. So, think twice! Start testing on STD and visit your gynecologist or urologist. 

Which STD can harm my fertility, and more importantly, how? 

Here we have a lot to speak about! STDs’ harmfulness and seriousness vary. There are STDs that are easier to take care of, and some that are harder to cope with. Here, we would like to list the STD that can negatively affect your fertility, explain how they influence your body and which tests can help you make sure if your fertility is not at risk. 

Furthermore, we would like to provide a brief solution for every single one that we would list, but besides that, you will definitely need to consult and track the development of a certain diagnosed STD with your gynecologist, or urologist.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can be found in both females and males. This virus, if left untreated can cause severe complications, such as the development of certain cancers (especially in women). This virus is usually silent and without any obvious symptoms. On the other hand, the number of people carrying this virus is very big. But the majority are not even aware of it! 

The body can sometimes fight off the virus, but this isn’t always the case. Usually, the virus is staying in your body, the treatment can help in reducing its harmful effect. If your immune system is weak, then your body won’t be able to fight with the virus.

How can HPV affect your fertility? 

This sexually transmitted virus does not directly cause fertility problems, but it can increase a woman’s risk of development of cervical cancer. If cancer is developed, the most effective treatment is the removal of cancerous or precancerous cells from the cervix. And that definitely affects your chances of getting pregnant naturally. To some level, it can affect the success of an IVF cycle too. 

How to test if your HPV is positive? 

As the HPV awareness arises, the importance of doing regular Pap – HPV tests has arisen too. Gynecologists recommend this test to be performed once in three months as a regular check of your sexual health. 

Unfortunately, this test is available only for women. Mostly, if one of the partners has it, there are great chances both to carry it. 

How to prevent and treat HPV?

Vaccination is one of the best preventive solutions for HPV. Of course, using protection (condoms or dental dams) with your sexual partner will serve as prevention too. 

This condition or virus can not be cured. Usually, what can be treated is side effects such as genital warts or cervical precancer.
Also, since it is a virus, it would be helpful to support and empower your immune system. This will help your body to fight with the virus and decrease the risk of developing cancers.

If you carry this virus and you are a smoker, you might consider stopping. Your sexual, reproductive and overall health will benefit from it!

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most common, but curable sexually transmitted diseases caused by bacteria. This infection can be also found both in men and women and is easily spreadable due to the fact that the symptoms are not visible. 

How can Chlamydia affect your fertility? 

If Chlamydia is left untreated, it can lead to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can further have women develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can further harm the woman’s ovaries and fallopian tubes. The harm lies in scarring and potential blocking of the fallopian tubes, leading to infertility. It can also be a reason for ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb) and increases a woman’s exposure and risk to HIV.

How to test if you have Chlamydia? 

There are several ways to detect the presence of Chlamydia causing bacteria in your body. And here they are: 

  • A urine test can detect the presence of the infection
  • Swab for women that can be done during a routine Pap test. 
  • Swab for man

If you’ve been treated for initial chlamydia infection, you should be retested in about three months.

How to prevent and treat Chlamydia?

If you are sexually active, using protection such as condoms can be helpful. Also, considering limiting the number of sexual partners can be a good solution to protect yourself against chlamydia. 

Regular testing and gynecologist (or urologist) is highly recommended. Also, it is a good idea for women, to avoid douching as it can decrease the productive vaginal bacteria.
The treatment for Chlamydia is typically based on taking oral antibiotics or medications that can help in getting rid of the infection. Also, keep in mind that better immunity can help you to overcome this infection too. 

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is also on the list of most common STDs. The good news is that is a curable sexually transmitted disease that can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. In women, gonorrhea can also cause infection of the cervix. As the previously mentioned STD, this one also doesn’t have very obvious symptoms. 

How can Gonorrhea affect your fertility? 

Gonorrhea can easily spread into a woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID significantly can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and decrease your chances to get pregnant naturally. 

How to test if you are Gonorrhea carrier? 

If you are Gonorrhea carrier can be evaluated with the same test that is performed for Chlamydia too. So if you decide to get tested, you can expect:

 

  • A urine test can detect the presence of the infection
  • Swab for women that can be done during a routine Pap test. 
  • Swab for man

So, since you can “kill two flies with one hit” and get tested for several STDs with only one visit to your doctor, why postpone it? 

How to prevent and treat Gonorrhea?

The preventive measures are very similar to those for Chlamydia. Limiting sexual partners and using proper protection during sexual intercourse can help you prevent this infection.

Treating is possible with certain medical therapy. 

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is an infectious and treatable disease, caused by the parasite trichomonas vaginalis. This is also a very common sexually transmitted infection that can cause fertility complications in men and women. 

How can Trichomoniasis affect your fertility?

In men, this infection can lead to urethritis, prostatitis, epididymitis, and increase the risk of infertility through inflammatory damage or interference with the sperm function. In women, this infection has been linked to vaginosis, vaginitis, and endometritis and can increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). In women, it can increase the risk of HIV. 

How to test if you are a Trichomoniasis carrier? 

The same tests as those mentioned above, urinal, and swabs are done for detecting Trichomoniasis too. 

How to prevent and treat Trichomoniasis?

Using protection during sexual intercourse, and limiting your sexual partners will definitely help to prevent the spread of this disease. Regular screening will also help. 

Oral medications can help in treating Trichomoniasis. 

What to do if I have been diagnosed with an STD?

First rule: Don’t rush with conclusions and don’t panic. Being diagnosed with an STD doesn’t mean that you are infertile. If you’ve been disciplined and did your best to treat the infection and keep it under control, then your fertility might still be preserved. However, you will have to keep good communication and follow the advice of your gynecologist. If you are inclined to these infections, don’t skip regular screening for them. 

It is also very important to keep track of the possible infertility signs. If you are not older than 35 and trying to conceive unsuccessfully for one year years, or you are older than 35 and have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive for 6 months, then you can think of doing a fertility evaluation, alone or together with your partner.

If you have any doubts that something might be wrong within your reproductive system, it is recommended that you see a reproductive endocrinologist. If you’re actively trying to conceive and failing, then your doctor might recommend a suitable IVF treatment for you. Another option depending on your fertility status might intrauterine insemination (IUI). 

How can euroCARE IVF help you to get pregnant if you are struggling with fertility difficulties due to STDs?

Our fertility evaluation program includes infectious tests and testing on STD. The fertility experts from euroCARE that would be responsible for your treatment, guided by Dr.Yücel İNAN will also require more information about your history of STDs. This information will help us evaluate your reproductive health and decide which path to pregnancy to take. 

Either way, even if some of the STDs will be detected, you are still eligible for an IVF treatment at euroCARE IVF. The presence of these infections can not interfere with the IVF cycle. 

If your fertility levels have dropped due to some condition that was caused by STDs, we can still find a suitable IVF solution for you within the list of the treatments that we offer. Our IVF Cyprus treatment is designed to cope with many causes of  infertility, including: 

 

  • Genetic diseases of one or both partners
  • Ovulation problems
  • Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis
  • Poor sperm quality and insufficient sperm count
  • Presence of harmful antibody
  • The inability of sperm to penetrate and sustain in the cervical mucus
  • Undetermined reasons causing infertility

Here at euroCARE IVF you can find IVF treatments with using your own reproductive material, IVF treatments with using Egg or Sperm donors’ reproductive material, and numerous assisted reproductive technology enhancements to improve your chances of successful IVF cycle, such as assisted hatching, blastocyst transfer, sperm sorting chip, embryo glue, etc.

We are here for you! 

We are aware that being diagnosed with some STD can sound very uncomfortable and scary. That is one of the main reasons why this kind of screening is usually avoided. But, on the other hand, our reproductive health is crucially important and we should dedicate more attention and care to preserving it. Remember, avoiding the problem is not going to solve it. 

Consult with our team and share your experience with us. We would patiently listen to your story and provide you with the most favorable and affordable option for you. 

The IVF success rates of euroCARE IVF are a strong indicator of our strong dedication to help couples improve their chances of getting pregnant, and help them get pregnant with a wide range of low-cost IVF treatments

You are only a step away from getting free consultations with one of the best IVF doctors in Cyprus

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Resources:
https://www.yourfertility.org.au/everyone/health-medical/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproductive_health

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