Do STDs Cause Infertility in Women

Do STDs Cause Infertility in Women

Do STDs Cause Infertility in Women? Everything You Need to Know About STDs and Infertility 

In today’s society, STDs are a very real threat with approximately 20 million new STD infections each year, according to Healthy People. Beyond the obvious stigmatization, STDs can have long term affects on a person’s health, especially when left untreated. From cervical cancer to perinatal or congenital infections in newborns, the risks involved are quite significant. But what about fertility? Can STDs cause infertility? If so, what STDs cause infertility in females? 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how STDs affect female fertility, with numerous helpful tips for staying safe and getting tested from the comfort and privacy of your own home.  

Do STDs Cause Infertility? 

Loma Linda Fertility says STDs are capable of directly or indirectly causing infertility in women–especially when left untreated. But how do STDs affect fertility, exactly? As it turns out, an array of sexually transmitted diseases can wreak havoc on the reproductive system. The end result varies greatly depending on how early an STD is detected. And with so many STDs not presenting identifiable symptoms, it’s easy to live undetected for years. For sexually active women, regular STD testing can help avoid such risks and more. 

In terms of how, STDs can cause infertility in several different ways. For instance, when an STD is left untreated, certain infections can develop, causing infertility by traveling up reproductive system and spreading into a woman’s ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. When this occurs, it can ultimately cause scarring, damage, and inflammation. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) 

PID or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is often caused by Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. In those cases, bacteria forms and is allowed to enter the reproductive system. In turn, it causes scarring of the vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. If left untreated for too long, PID can result in irreversible damage and infertility. 

Tubal Factor Infertility

Accounting for approximately 30% of all infertility cases in women according to Columbia Doctors, tubal factor is the blockage of one or both fallopian tubes. Often resulting from PID, tubal factor can cause infertility in multiple ways. First, it can prevent sperm from getting to the egg in the fallopian tubes for fertilization. Second, it can prevent fertilized eggs from entering the uterus and implanting for successful pregnancy. 

What STDs Cause Infertility? 

Ultimately, there are several STDs that cause infertility in women. However, the two most common STDs that are known to cause infertility are Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. In fact, they are the two leading causes of preventable infertility. That’s why the Center for Disease Control recommends at least annual Chlamydia and Gonorrhea testing for all sexually active women 25 and younger. Not only can these STDs cause infertility but they can also cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease as well. In fact, when either STD is left untreated, 10-15% of women develop PID.  

Chlamydia is also likely to cause silent infections that can not only cause tubal factor but also create permanent damage in the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. Again, if left untreated for too long, this can ultimately lead to infertility.  

Everything You Need to Know About Gonorrhea and Chlamydia  

Most women who are infected with Chlamydia and Gonorrhea have zero symptoms. Having an understanding of such diseases can give you a leg up and make you more likely to know when you may be infected. 

What is Gonorrhea? 

Gonorrhea is an infection that’s caused by sexually transmitted becterium that is capable of infecting both men and women. More often than not, it affects the rectum, urethra, or throat. Most often spread during oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse, Gonorrhea can also be spread during childbirth. Typically, babies are most affected in their eyes. While Gonorrhea doesn’t always exhibit symptoms, the following can occur: 

  • Watery or creamy vaginal discharge 
  • Pain or burning during urination 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Heavier periods or spotting 
  • Rectal bleeding/discharge 
  • Pain during sexual intercourse 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Itchy or sore anus 

 What is Chlamydia? 

First and foremost, Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the world. Many people affected by this STD are unaware because typically there are no symptoms. As another bacterial infection, Chlamydia is commonly transmitted during oral, anal, and vaginal sex via semen, pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Furthermore, it can infect various regions, including the vagina, penis, anus, cervix, urethra, throat, and eyes. Much like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia can also be transmitted to a baby during childbirth if it isn’t treated. Possible symptoms of Chlamydia include: 

  • Pain or burning during urination 
  • Pain during sexual intercourse 
  • Lower abdominal pain 
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge 
  • Bleeding in-between periods 
  • Anal pain and/or discharge 

What Happens if I Do Get Chlamydia or Gonorrhea? 

Finding out you have an STD can feel undeniably embarrassing due to the stigma surrounding the subject. But if you’re looking to have children, discovering you have one of these infertility inducing STDs early on can prevent a whole lot of hardships and disappointment. If you do discover you have Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, there is some good news–both are easily treatable with antibiotics, according to WebMD

So, once you’ve confirmed either infection with your at-home STD test, the next step is visiting a doctor to obtain the necessary antibiotics. Typically, your doctor will offer a short round of antibiotics that must be finished completely to get rid of either STD. Are you unable to visit your doctor due to a lack of insurance or something similar, you can also get tested and treated at your local health department’s STD clinic, either for free or at a reduced price. 

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Testing At Home 

At 247Labkit, we make it easy to test for STDs, right from the comfort of your own home. So, rather you feel embarrassed or you prefer a bit more privacy, we’ve got you covered with discrete testing and results. Once you complete your test and send it back, you’ll have your results in 48-72 hours. If you’re interested in an at-home Gonorrhea or Chlamydia test, order one today to ensure peace of mind and confidence in your health. 

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