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14. 2. 2023

Do sexually transmitted diseases affect couples' infertility?


Did you know that European Sexual Health Day coincides with Valentine's Day? So February 14 doesn't have to be celebrated with chocolates and flowers only, but also by raising awareness that sexually transmitted diseases can contribute to the reduced fertility of some couples.
Bacteria and viruses cause an infection that spreads in the human body and leads to sexually transmitted diseases. They are then transmitted from person to person during unprotected sexual intercourse and thus affect both women and men.
If you're planning to start a family, STD tests are an essential first step for several reasons. Some of these diseases can affect your fertility, cause complications later in pregnancy, or even harm the fetus. That's why we provide testing for the most severe STDs at our clinics to ensure your journey to parenthood is as smooth as possible.
What tests do we carry out at Unica before the start of treatment?
Whether your steps lead to the clinic because you want a baby or to freeze your eggs or sperm for later use, we offer examinations and tests for the most common sexually transmitted diseases. These include the detection of the following:

Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C
Hepatitis is an inflammatory liver disease that can be chronic or acute and cause serious long-term consequences. Its typical manifestation is jaundice, which can turn into liver cirrhosis or liver cancer in the chronic stage. Hepatitis does not directly cause infertility but affects a woman's ability to get pregnant. At the same time, there is a risk of transmission of infection to the fetus during pregnancy.

Syphilis is caused by a bacterial infection usually transmitted through sexual intercourse. Women suffering from this disease have a 50% higher probability of miscarriage. There is also a risk of disease transmission to the unborn child. Although syphilis does not directly affect male fertility, its complications can cause epididymitis. In this case, the sperm ducts become scarred, which prevents the release of sperm during ejaculation. If a man suffering from syphilis is not treated for a long time, he risks nerve degeneration leading to erectile dysfunction.
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease that can infect men and women. Patients with chlamydia are often unaware of their condition, as the disease usually has no symptoms. However, an untreated infection can cause damage and scarring of the uterus or fallopian tubes in women, resulting in a reduced chance of pregnancy. In men, chlamydia can affect sperm health and contribute to male infertility.

HIV attacks white blood cells and damages the immune system. This makes it harder for the human body to fight infections that a healthy person can handle without any problems. HIV, directly and indirectly, interferes with the reproductive system, reducing the couple's chances of conceiving. Even with this virus, transmission from mother to fetus is possible. Women who are HIV positive are also at increased risk of preterm birth, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and stillbirth.
The earlier STDs are diagnosed and treated, the less likely it is that they will cause fertility problems. Examination of these diseases before pregnancy significantly reduces the risk of transmission of infection to a partner or future child.
Are you interested in other methods you can use to check or support your fertility? Contact the treatment coordinators at our clinics for more information.

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