Can STDs affect my ability to get pregnant?

Some STDs can greatly affect a woman’s fertility.  They may spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing inflammatory disease, which is a cause of both infertility and ectopic pregnancy.  Some STDs may lead to cervical cancer, which can also affect fertility. 

The effect of any particular STD on fertility can vary greatly.  Chlamydia, gonorrhea and genital herpes, for example, can cause scarring in the fallopian tubes.  This can lead to blocking the passage of egg or sperm toward their destinations.  These STDs can be double dangerous, because they can sometimes infect with no symptoms or very mild symptoms, all while causing severe long-term damage.

Much of the damage caused by STDs may be irreversible.  Some may be repaired through surgery.  If you are trying to conceive, you should consider being screened for STDs, both to assess the possible effect on fertility and to be aware of the implications of being pregnant with an STD.



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