Something we might not think about but could very well hurt our chances of conceiving a child are sexually transmitted diseases. April is National Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month, and we want to make sure you have the information you need to know about if you’re trying to have a baby. Take a look at this info, and if you need to have any follow-up conversations or make an appointment, see our contact information below!
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can damage your fallopian tubes, leaving scarring that prevents sperm from reaching an egg to fertilize it. These infections do not always show symptoms, so it’s best to get tested, as the longer you go without identifying the disease, the more chance there is of harm to your reproductive system.
If you’ve contracted one STD, it’s likely you were exposed to or affected by others as well. So even if you’re not actively experiencing symptoms related to chlamydia or gonorrhea, other issues might have affected your system in the past.
Human papillomavirus, or HPS, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. While the disease itself might not directly affect your fertility, some of the treatments might pose a risk to future fertility.
Symptoms of an STD include itchy genitals, pain or discomfort when you pee, abnormal vaginal discharge, pain in your pelvic region or during sex, an unusual odor from your genital area, or sores in the same area.
Practice safe sex if you’re not ready to have a baby yet, and get tested for STDs if you’ve had unprotected sex, have a new or multiple sexual partners, or if your partner has an STD.
Remember that STDs are treatable if they are identified.
If you do want to have a baby but think you might have an STD, or know that you did at one time, talk to your doctor about that part of your medical history. If you’ve suffered from certain STDs, your physician might do a test to check the fallopian tubes. Even if he or she finds damage, you’ll still have options for conception, such as IVF. If you’ve ever had a biopsy of cells on your cervix, that might also affect conception. A doctor will know the risks you might face when trying to become pregnant, as well as options for procedures or fertility help.
We know STDs are a scary thing to talk about, but it’s best to know what you might be up against when you want to have a little one. If you’d like to have any tests run or speak to a fertility specialist about your options, please contact us anytime at 717-747-3099 or click on the button below. You can also watch a webinar about our practices for free, found here.