Many couples who have been diagnosed with infertility will find that their inability to have children is as a result of untreated sexually transmitted diseases.
Every year at least 111 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted diseases occur among young people, according to recent studies. STDs affect human fertility primarily through infections of the female upper genital tract and, less frequently, through obstructions of the male vas deferens. Too often, kids who have unprotected sex think that the worst that could happen is getting pregnant or contracting some kind of treatable disease. Even more frightening, they often don’t know when they are engaging in risky sexual behaviours. We need to open up our informational initiatives to make everyone aware of what’s at stake and what to do about it.
The top five sexually transmitted diseases that affect infertility are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, (these two are responsible for causing PID - pelvic inflammatory disease), Syphilis, and HPV.
These cases of infertility could certainly be prevented if we adopt proper family planning measures and seek to educate ourselves about the link between infertility and sexually transmitted diseases. Using a condom each time we have sex reduces the cases of STD’s but does not prevent them completely, so it is important that when we suspect that something could be wrong, we visit our doctor so that the necessary diagnosis can be done to ensure early treatment.
PID is the most common cause of infertility and describes an upward travelling infection in the female body resulting from her engaging in sexual intercourse with an infected partner. If untreated, this usually leads to fallopian tube, ovarian and/or pelvic damage. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are also responsible for causing infertility issues in men as well, resulting in scarring and blocked sperm passage.
As soon as possible, antibiotics for gonorrhea and chlamydia infection are usually given by mouth or by injection into a muscle. If needed, the antibiotics are changed after test results are available. Most women are treated at home. However, hospitalization is usually necessary in the following situations:
· The infection does not lessen within 48 hours
· Symptoms are severe
· The woman may be pregnant
· An abscess is detected
Treatment for PID includes surgery to remove scar tissue that may occur. In severe and rare cases that do not respond to treatment, surgery to remove the infected organs may be necessary. For men, treatment for blocked sperm passage and scarring includes surgery as well.