UNTREATED INFECTION & FERTILITY ISSUES

Millions of people — more than 1 out of 10 couples — experience fertility problems. And it’s not gender specific, not just a “woman’s problem” or an issue with age, either person or both people are equally likely to be the cause. There are lots of possible causes of infertility. Seeing a doctor that specializes in infertility can help you figure out what’s causing your fertility problems and find the best treatments for you.

‘’Safe sex is great sex, better wear a latex’’ – Lil Wayne: Lollipop Remix (2008)

Most important step in Infection prevention? Use Protection!

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the world, especially among women, who disproportionately bear the long-term consequences of STDs. Each year, untreated STDs cause infertility in about 24,000 women. Also, untreated syphilis in pregnant women result in infant death in up to 40% of cases. 

STDs affect women and men differently. Here are some things you should know: 

  • A woman’s anatomy can place her at a unique risk for STD, compared to a man. The lining of the vagina is thinner and more delicate than the skin on a penis, so it’s easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate. The vagina is a good environment (moist) for bacteria to grow 
  • Women often have normal discharge or think that burning/itching is related to a yeast infection, and are more likely to confuse symptoms of an STD for something else.
  • Women may not see symptoms as easily as men. Genital ulcers (like herpes or syphilis) can occur in the vagina and may not be easily visible, while men may be more likely to notice sores on their penis (its advisable people do regular check-ups and screening).
  • STDs can lead to serious health complications and affect a woman’s future reproductive plans. Untreated STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can result in infertility and ectopic pregnancy. 
  • Genital herpes, Syphilis and HIV can be passed to babies during pregnancy and at delivery. The harmful effects of STDs in babies may include still birth (a baby that is born dead), low birth weight (less than 2.5kg), brain damage, blindness and deafness 
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD. In women, this is the main cause of cervical cancer. How it spreads? By mother to baby in pregnancy, labour, or nursing, and by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
  • While HPV is also very common in men, most do not develop any serious health problems. However, if HPV does not go away, it can cause genital warts or certain kinds of cancer, treatments for such focus on removing the warts

The Good News 

  • Women typically see their doctor more often than men. Women should use this time with their doctor to test for STD, undergo Pap test and any other required test.
  • There is a vaccine to prevent HPV; and available treatments for other STDs can prevent serious health consequences, such as infertility, if diagnosed and treated early. A vaccine that prevents the HPV strains most likely to cause genital warts and cervical cancer is recommended for both genders.
  • There are resources available for women and men to learn more about actions they can take to protect themselves and their partners from STDs and where to receive testing and treatment. Testing and treatment are key to reducing disease and infertility complications associated with undiagnosed STDs. 

A doctor or physician can provide patient-specific information about STD prevention, protection and tests. Your Sexual Health is very important. There are several types of infertility treatments. The kinds that are best for you depend on the cause of your fertility problems. Sometimes only one person needs treatment, other times both partners will use a combination of treatments together.

Seen something that caught your attention? Learned a thing or two? Need to speak to a doctor? Call in 08097560000, 09091111129 to speak to a healthcare professional

References

  • www.cdc.gov/std — CDC’s website includes comprehensive information about STDs, including fact sheets on STDs and Pregnancy (www.cdc.gov/std/ pregnancy) and STDs and Infertility (www.cdc.gov/std/ infertility)
    • https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm
    • https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/pregnancy/infertility

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