Infertility Risk for Women with STDs

November 14th, 2011
Infertility Risk for Women with STDs

Women with sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) are doubling their risk of infertility.

Apparently, this is the case if women are having repeating episodes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which increases inflammation of the sexual organs. What’s more the condition is known to affect more than 800,000 women in the USA each year, with statistics showing that one in ten of these women are infertile.

This is the finding of a study carried out by the US Centre for Disease Control, who looked at 831 women aged 14 to 38 diagnosed with mild to moderate pelvic inflammatory disease. A follow up check was then made 7 years after they were first diagnosed.

The research also threw up other findings. For instance, 21% of women reported to have had at least one episode of PID after their initial diagnosis. One in 20 were also said to be infertile, while 43% of women told researchers they suffered from chronic pelvic pain. Interestingly, only 57% said they had no problems getting pregnant.

Speaking with reporters, the lead researcher Dr. Maria Trent, a paediatrician and an expert on teen reproductive health said: “The fact that close to one-fifth of these girls were already showing signs of infertility is quite alarming and might mean that the numbers will increase as these girls get older and actively try to get pregnant.”

Dr. Trent added: “When it comes to [pelvic inflammatory disease], we must remain as vigilant as ever. Even though PID has changed over time, it is still very much a disease that can have detrimental consequences to a woman’s childbearing ability and can lead to chronic pelvic pain down the road.”

Infertility in general is becoming much more widespread, not just in wealthy countries such as the US and UK, but in many poorer nations as well. Ironically, while the planet’s population is growing rapidly – recent reports state it is now 7 billion – nevertheless because of many factors including sexually transmitted diseases and environmental concerns, the world population could fall drastically in the future. If infertility is the cause then this could have grave long term repercussions.

 

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