STDs could cause Infertility in Men &Women

Nova IVI Fertility (NIF) , Coimbatore recently organised a program on how sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause infertility in Men and Women. Dr.Meenakshi Priya, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVI Fertility, Coimbatore addressed the media and briefed on the impacts of STDs on Fertility and highlighted how Nova IVI Fertility is helping infertile couples achieve their dream of parenthood.

Dr.Meenakshi Priya said that while factors such as advancing maternal age, endometriosis, ovulation disorders, sperm malfunction and other lifestyle habits are causes of infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases can also lead to infertility in men and women.

She elaborated further, “Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the two most common and preventable infections which cause PID. If left untreated, about 10-15% of women with this infection can develop PID. Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms. PID and “silent” infection in the upper genital tract may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues which can ultimately lead to infertility”.

Chlamydia causes a large amount of inflammation (swelling) in the fallopian tubes which tend to get blocked, restricting the travel of fertilised egg to the uterus. This condition is also known as tubal infertility. Around one in five women with Chlamydia also develop PID. Often, these infections also affect the endometrial tissue, wherein the embryo fails to get implanted, thus leading to infertility.

The symptoms of chlamydia in men are pain while urinating, discharge from the penis and pain in the testicles. Around 50% of men with chlamydia will develop symptoms within one to three weeks of contracting the disease which makes it more noticeable for men than in women. However, men who suffer from Chlamydia may find that their sperm quality and motility has significantly decreased, leading to difficulty in conceiving. 

In females, gonorrhea can also infect the cervix. As Gonorrhea can go undetected for long periods of time, tubal damage from the disease is common. About 10% – 20 % of women with Gonorrhea have symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease. Gonorrhea has also been shown to cause problems with sperm health in many men.

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in men include painful urination, pain or swelling in one testicle and pus-like discharge from the penis, while for women, the symptoms include increased vaginal discharge, bleeding and painful intercourse.

“Over time, we have been witnessing a rise in the cases of infertility caused due to STDs in Coimbatore. We meet several patients on a day-to-day basis who are unaware that they are suffering from obstructive azoospermia. Most of them are only prescribed antibiotics, but the right diagnosis continues to remain the need of the hour. By assessing the microbiological environment that the embryo will encounter at implantation, test methods like ALICE  (Analysis of Infectious Chronic Endometritis ) test  can be beneficial for any patient wishing to conceive”, stated Dr.Meenakshi.