Several common STIs can cause fertility problems. Research is suggesting that nearly 25% of all issues of infertility can be traced back to a previous or current STI.
The largest threats for fertility for both men and women are Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Unfortunately, those infected with these STIs will often never show any symptoms. For women, the threat of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can result in scarring of the fallopian tubes which can prevent conception. For men, epididymitis can be a painful experience. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are easily treatable with antibiotics and rarely cause any long-term health problems if detected early on.
The easiest way to prevent STIs is to always use protection when having sexual intercourse of any kind. Regular sexual health screenings at a doctor, clinic, or even an at-home test can keep your sexual health in check!
Most doctors will recommend that couples try to conceive naturally for at least 12 months if the woman is under 35. However, if your doctor recommends IVF treatment for your fertility, it will require a full sexual health screening, including STI testing. If you have a history of STIs, especially Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, your doctor may recommend trying naturally for an additional 6 months before seeking other fertility methods.