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Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infertility
With sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) ranked as the most common infectious diseases in the U.S., doctors have learned to aid those living with these diseases continue to lead a normal life and bear children.
STDs and Infertility
Unfortunately, the damage that may occur in both men and women who have STDs can make conception very difficult. For men, STDs may render them infertile. For women, many STDs may cause damage to reproductive organs, also known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID, in which the body fights off an infection leading to scarring and damage to reproductive organs, is one of the most common reasons for infertility in America. It is also the most common reason for ectopic pregnancies, where pregnancies occur outside the uterus and result in miscarriage while also endangering the life of the mother. This is especially the case in women with Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
Finding Fertile Ground
The best way to ward off infertility is to receive treatment for an STD as soon as possible to prevent scarring to reproductive organs. Some STDs may be cured with antibiotics, while others without cures may go into remission under the right medical care, allowing women to experience safe and healthy pregnancies. Infertility problems related to PID can be corrected through surgery. If damage prevents the sperm from traveling to the uterus, IVF may be performed.
Some STDs may be transmitted to an infant via the bloodstream, such as HIV, or through childbirth, such as genital herpes. If you are having trouble conceiving, ask your doctor to test you and your partner for STDs. If an STD is discovered, speak to your doctor about treatment methods and fertility options best suited to your condition.