Infections & Infertility

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Emobileclinic Specialist

Most of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are curable if treated properly but they can affect the fertility of both men and women if treatments are delayed and mismanaged.  Affected people tend to refuse to come forth for treatment because of embarrassment and such delays could be grevious at the end.
About 70 per cent of the more than three million new STD infections that occur annually worldwide occur in the 15-24 year age group, making it primarily a disease of the sexually active youth.

In Nigeria, the most prevalent STD is gonorrhoea with high traffic in Lagos State . HIV infections are also increasing in the country, despite the active promotion of condom usage. Gonorrhoea primarily affects the vagina, cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes of women and the urethra, epididymis and testes of men. The main long-term effect of gonorrhoea infection is the development of tubal damage- a major cause of infertility in women and, in men, can result in infection of the testes and surrounding tissues, a major infertility factor.


Other STDs include genital herpes, HPV (human papillomavirus), chlamydia and syphilis and each has specific symptoms. It should be noted however some STDs, like chlamydia, can be carried without symptoms for months or years and some viral infections may persist for life. If untreated, chlamydia can result in chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, and tubal infertility. In men, chlamydia can cause inflammation of the testes that can impair sperm function. Problems arising from most STDs include the development of some analand cervical cancers which affect the vulva, vagina and cervix in women and the phallus in men. There is no evidence that genital herpes directly causes infertility in women but it can affect the potency of sperm in men.

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Syphilis is less prevalent nowadays and sufferers shows no symptoms . The most significant reproductive risks of syphilis are late miscarriage, stillbirth and transmission of infection to the newborn.

STDs are extremely common in the under 25 year’s age group and education can play a key role in alerting them to the dangers STDs pose to their reproductive health if untreated. Easy access to testing and treatment are important but educating our youth on ways of preventing of STDs is vital.


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