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Can STDs Cause Infertility? What You Need to Know

Protect your reproductive health by discovering the answer to a frequent health question: Can STDs cause infertility? Some STDs can go unnoticed for years because they produce no identifiable symptoms. Sexually transmitted diseases that provide no signs often cause couples to suffer from the inability to become pregnant.

Schedule early screening for sexually transmitted diseases that can cause both men and women to become sterile. At Rapid STD Testing, we provide accurate, confidential examination services. Secure a professional medical consultation by booking an STD test online or by calling us at (866) 872-1888 today.

What Are the STDs That Can Stop You From Getting Pregnant?

One of the most common questions related to STDs is “What STDs can cause infertility?” If left untreated, viral and bacterial STDs can cause more than 20 different health complications that directly lead to infertility in sexually active women. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other bacterial infections can result in irreversible damage, including scarring of the fallopian tubes.

Discover some of the common diseases that often lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and chronic pelvic pain in women.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia does not cause infertility on its own. However, it leads to pelvic inflammatory disease in 40% of the women who contract it through oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. Most women with chlamydia do not realize they have it because it rarely produces symptoms. In cases that involve early detection and treatment, doctors can cure chlamydia with antibiotics.

Can chlamydia cause infertility? Yes. However, if you detect chlamydia in its earliest stages through STD testing, you can prevent further damage to female reproductive organs through antibiotic treatment.

Gonorrhea

As another STD that rarely shows symptoms, gonorrhea can directly affect the urethra and cervix. In addition to antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication can treat gonorrhea. If left untreated, gonorrhea can spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, leading to female infertility.

PID

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an inflammatory infection of the female reproductive system. It affects fertility by spreading bacteria from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. PID can present subtle symptoms. Consequently, you may not notice PID until you experience chronic pelvic pain or difficulty in becoming pregnant.

Some of the symptoms of PID include:

  • Intense, painful, or frequent urination.
  • An unpleasant odor or abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Unusual uterine bleeding between menstrual cycles or during intercourse.
  • Pain in your lower abdomen or pelvis.

Tubal Factor Infertility

Infertility due to fallopian tube obstruction means that sperm cannot reach the egg for fertilization or a fertilized egg cannot reach the uterus. Women may not realize they suffer from damaged fallopian tubes until they consult a doctor due to infertility. Treatment options for tubal factor infertility include surgical and nonsurgical procedures to repair damaged tubes.

Initial exams for tubal factor infertility may include a hysterosalpingogram. In vitro fertilization or tubal surgery may successfully treat infertility in women resulting from tubal factors.

STDs That Affect Men’s Fertility

Can STDs cause infertility in males? Yes, men suffering from STDs may experience infertility. Several untreated STDs can damage the epididymis or urethra in males, causing fertility problems. As a result of HIV infection and immunodeficiency, males may also suffer from decreased sperm count and quality. To prevent the late effects of STDs, men should treat STDs early.

Due to the higher prevalence of noticeable STD symptoms in men than in women, earlier detection and treatment means infertility remains less common among men. Find out which STDs can cause infertility in men below.

Chlamydia

The majority of men with chlamydia do not notice any symptoms. However, with careful examination, one can identify some subtle signs of chlamydia, including: 

  • Burning sensations or itching around the penis.
  • Testicular pain and swelling.
  • Intense pain when urinating.
  • Discharge of clear or cloudy fluid.

Untreated chlamydia in men can cause swelling of the epididymis, the tube through which sperm flows from the testicles. The best way to prevent infertility due to the effects of chlamydia involves taking an STD test as soon as possible.

Gonorrhea

Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea and can affect anyone, especially teenagers and young adults. When left untreated, gonorrhea in males can cause long-term health concerns and even promote infertility. One may contract or transmit gonorrhea when they have oral, anal, or vaginal sex.

Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear within two to 30 days of initial infection. Some of the symptoms of gonorrhea include:

  • Swelling of the foreskin.
  • Testicular pain or tenderness.
  • Painful, burning sensation during urination.

Genital Herpes

Herpes genitalis causes red bumps on or near the pubic area, including the penis, scrotum, and anus. Patients often mistake the early signs of genital herpes as pimples or ingrown hairs. Even though genital herpes remains incurable, antiviral medications can reduce the duration of symptoms and prevent recurrent breakouts.

Mycoplasma Genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium rarely shows any symptoms in men despite its prevalence in male patients. In many cases, men first discover that they have this infection when seeking medical help for fertility issues. Mycoplasma genitalium creates motility issues in sperm, leading to a moderate impact on the fertility of men who contract the disease. 

Many sexually transmitted diseases can create several different health complications due to the late identification of symptoms. Untreated STDs can lead to various fertility issues for both women and men. These diseases often enter our lives unnoticed, so we should take proactive measures against them to stay prepared during sexual interactions with all sex partners.

STDs That Indirectly Cause Infertility

How can STDs cause infertility? Diseases transmitted through intercourse or other sexual contact lead to infertility in men and women by damaging their reproductive systems. Early detection of STDs can help patients avoid serious health consequences like infertility. Let’s explore some of the STDs that indirectly cause infertility.

HSV

The herpes simplex virus causes small blisters around the genitals and may indirectly affect a patient’s plans to have children. A woman with HSV can pass the virus to her newborn baby, which will impact the baby’s health. Some studies also connect HSV to low sperm count in men.

HPV

One of the most common STDs in the US, the human papillomavirus (HPV) can spread from skin-to-skin contact and cause warts, including on the skin around the genitals. If left untreated, HPV can lead to cancer of the reproductive organs in both sexes, resulting in infertility.

Early treatment can reduce the odds that HPV turns into cancer and can increase your chances of staying fertile. Schedule your test at Rapid STD Testing to take control of your health.

Syphilis

Syphilis primarily spreads through vaginal intercourse. According to various studies, pregnant women with syphilis have about a 50% chance of experiencing a miscarriage or stillbirth. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications in males, like epididymitis and erectile dysfunction, impacting male fertility.

HIV

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can spread through blood or bodily fluids and may affect the function of male and female reproductive organs, leading to infertility problems. A woman may also transfer HIV to her unborn child. In men, the virus may also affect sperm health.

HIV can also lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), making the infected person more likely to experience infertility.

Testing, Prevention, and Treatment

Can STDs cause infertility? Bacterial and viral infections transmitted through sexual contact may result in the development of diseases that lead to infertility in both men and women. Do not hesitate to get tested if you suspect you have an STD because some diseases can lead to serious health complications if left untreated.

The spread of sexually transmitted diseases almost always occurs through sexual contact. STDs that cause frequent urination offer a clear sign of a potential sexually transmitted infection. At Rapid STD Testing, we recommend that patients choose our 10-panel STD test, which looks for 10 of the most common STDs.

Since some STDs do not present clear signs of an identifiable infection, people may go years without realizing they suffer from them. Complications caused by STDs, such as infertility or weakened immunity, may occur without any other symptoms. Sexually active individuals or those with symptoms should seek a rapid STD test.

Rapid STD Testing provides safe, confidential same-day STD testing. In addition to providing you with guidance on safer sex practices, our medically trained counselors will also put your mind at ease by dispelling STD myths.

While many people don’t notice infertility signs, sexually transmitted diseases can lead to fallopian tube dysfunction, prostatitis, and other problems that can reduce reproductive ability. Thankfully, proper treatment can reverse symptoms in some cases, allowing patients to conceive more easily.

Rapid STD Testing | Comprehensive, Secure STD Testing Services

Can STDs cause infertility? Yes. Patients should get tested as soon as possible to stay safe and prevent infertility. You can contact one of our representatives at Rapid STD Testing by calling 866-872-1888 to choose one of our accurate testing packages.