Plenty of Americans have sexually transmitted diseases. But here’s the thing, most people don’t even know they have an STD.
That’s because many of them are silent, meaning that those infected have minor symptoms or none at all. Because of this, they often go untreated which can seriously affect fertility.
According to the American Social Health Association, approximately 65 million people in the United States have a sexually transmitted disease, as reported by ParentingWeekly.com.
Here are seven things you should know about STDs and your fertility:
1) Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be dangerous.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are STDs that can damage the reproductive organs of men and women. Unfortunately, both of these are silent STDs.
2) Severe cases of chlamydia pose the highest risk.
A women who suffers from a severe case of chlamydia is five times more likely to suffer from infertility than those with mild infections, according to ParentingWeekly.com.
3) Chlamydia and gonorrhea can adversely affect a woman’s cervix and urethra.
These STDs can cause cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix) and/or urethritis (inflammation of the urethra). If left untreated, “10 to15 percent of chlamydia infections will lead to an upper genital tract infection in the fallopian tubes,” LiveStrong.com said.
4) Pelvic inflammatory disease is a serious condition.
PID is an infection in the upper genital tract. PID is serious because it can permanently damage the fallopian tubes and uterus. CNN.com reported that women with PID have “a 10 to 20 percent chance of being left infertile.”
5) PID can lead to ectopic pregnancy.
PID damages the reproductive organs by scarring and inflaming the fallopian tubes. When this happens, the egg and sperm may never meet, thus preventing fertilization.
But that’s not all. The scarring increases the risk for an ectopic pregnancy. That’s a possibly fatal condition where a pregnancy happens inside the fallopian tubes because the egg is prevented from entering the uterus.
6) Men should be concerned about epididymitis.
Left untreated, gonorrhea and chlamydia infections can move up the male genital tract causing epididymitis, which hinders traveling sperm. Every year, some 500,000 men develop epididymitis due to an STD, said ParentingWeekly.com.
7) Epididymitis is a painful condition that can result in male infertility.
This condition of the testicles causes inflammation in the structures that transport sperm. Left untreated, complete blockage of these structures can occur, which can cause male infertility.
Learn what you can about STDs and fertility. Get tested and if need be, talk to your doctor about your options which it comes to infertility.
Reviewed April 15, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
"22 Things You Should Know About STDs And Your Fertility." BuzzFeed. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
Fortin, Judy. "When STDs Lead to Infertility." CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
"STDs and Infertility by Preconception Weekly." STDs and Infertility by Preconception Weekly. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
Wittenberg, Martha E., Dr. "STDs That Can Cause Infertility." LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.