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How STD’s Can Affect Your Fertility

How STD’s Can Affect Your Fertility

There are a lot of dangers to contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD): your health can be adversely affected by the disease; there is a social stigma to STD carriers and of course, your fertility may be put at risk by your STD. As a matter of fact, it has been reported that as many as one quarter of all infertility cases are caused by a previous STD.

The American Social Health Association itself reports that 15 percent of infertile women can link STD-induced tubal damage caused by pelvic inflammatory disease as the direct cause of their infertility.

Not every Sexually Transmitted Disease will affect your ability to become pregnant or carry a baby to full term – but some can. Men too must be careful to discuss the implications of their own STD exposure when it comes to their sperm’s viability.

In most cases, the Herpes virus does not affect either a woman or a man’s ability to have a baby. Affecting the genital area, the biggest detriment that herpes will have on a couple’s fertility is the need to abstain from intercourse during an outbreak in either partner. This can limit their chances of conceiving depending on how long the outbreak is and how often they experience them.

If a woman experiences a herpes outbreak in the latter stages of pregnancy, her doctor may suggest a C-section to ensure that the virus is not spread to the baby during delivery; although this is rare since a mother with herpes will give her baby antibodies against the disease during the gestational period.

Chlamydia may be the most ruthless of the STD’s when it comes to causing fertility trouble. More than 40% of untreated Chlamydia infections cause inflammation of the fallopian tubes which can leave scarring and block the fallopian tubes. Women with the disease need to be honest with their doctors to prevent permanent damage to their reproductive systems. If you have had chlamydia or scarring due to an STD make sure to read our guide to blocked fallopian tubes for some natural therapies that may help.

It is estimated that more than a million new cases of Chlamydia are reported in the U.S., alone each year, with double that number actually being infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Is a parasite that is an STD, but besides painful symptoms and copious discharge, in itself it does not cause infertility but because it is often transmitted at the same time as chlamydia and gonorrhea, it is linked to tubal infections.

In women, Gonorrhea can cause bleeding after sex and yellow or bloody vaginal discharge which can inflame the pelvic area, causing epididymitis, which can hamper conception.

The Effect of STD’s on Men’s Fertility
Although more research is needed in this area, initial reports show little effects on a man’s fertility, unless the sperm comes in direct contact with the STD infection. In this case, the sperm may be damaged. But most research indicates that STD’s do not affect a man’s sperm count or mobility.

Since women tend to be at the most fertility risk when it comes to STD’s most doctors agree that a pre-conception STD test is essential to check for undiagnosed STD’s from the past and to see if any unknown damage could impede the woman’s chance of getting pregnant.


Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull is a University-trained Obstetrician/Gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She delivered over 2000 babies and specializes in gynecologic diseases such as menstrual disorders, infertility diagnosis and treatment especially pertaining to tubal blockage and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Dr. Langdon is the inventor of 6 patent pending medical devices, and attended Ohio State University from 1987-1995 receiving her Medical Doctorate Degree (M.D.) with Honors in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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  1. super article thankyou

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    how can i receive information about my fertility after contracting gonorrhea

    • Dear Taneisha,

      It will be best to discuss your fertility health with your healthcare provider. He is best able to evaluate any way that gonorrhea may be impacting your fertility.

  3. Avatar

    I recently had an experience with someone and was left sick for a few days after. Literally couldn’t move out of bed. Saw my physician and it showed it was herpes. Really upset me but the doctor told me it’s possible to treat it, not cure it under the right circumstances.

    He gave me a list of vitamins and foods to make part of my daily diet. Once I started looking into these vitamins and herbs that boost your immune system, I found several nutrients to be helpful along with proper diet.

  4. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  5. Avatar

    Hi I was wondering if you could let women know more about if they have gonnoria for a number of years would it affect fertility if it has been caught in mid teenage years?

  6. Avatar

    Hi problem is I last had sex with my boyfriend in the past six months ago but now am expiriencing pains down to my stomach can that be possible that I have contacted STIs please help.

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    Hi I had white yellow stuff coming out of my penis for four months all of a surden it stoped. Does it mean I’m cured of this STD I only took medication for two weeks

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    I think it would help woman if you described what could happen to the child, while it is still in the womb. It would also help if you gave a little more description on what can happen.