More Support And Information
The Family Planning Association provides straightforward information and support on sexual health, sex and relationships to everyone in the UK.
Public Health England National Sexual Health Helpline 0300 123 7123
NHS Choices provides information on sexual health including contraception, STIs and sexual health services in your area.
Terrence Higgins Trust provides HIV and sexual health services in the UK, running services out of local centres across Great Britain. Also provides information about HIV and pregnancy.
HIV i-base provides information about HIV including pregnancy and womens health
How Can I Prevent Spreading Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Stop having sex until you see a healthcare provider and are treated.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for treatment.
- Use condoms whenever you have sex, especially with new partners.
- Don’t resume having sex unless your healthcare provider says it’s okay.
- Return to your healthcare provider to get rechecked.
- Be sure your sex partner or partners also are treated.
What Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases
An STD is one that is passed from one person to another mainly through intimate sexual contact, which can be heavy petting, vaginal or anal sexual intercourse, and oral sex. There are dozens of STDs including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, human papillomavirus and others. But gonorrhea and chlamydia are the ones most likely to cause subfertility .
Most sexually active people are familiar with the term STD, and probably STI . The terms are often used interchangeably. But technically the sexually transmitted infection occurs before the sexually transmitted disease, which follows from the infection. STI or STD, you dont want either one.
About 20 million new cases of STDs occur every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . And roughly 75 percent of women will get some type of STD in their lifetime . STDs are most common in women under age 25, and up to 80 percent of women with chlamydia get it between age 15 and 25.
According to the CDC, there were a record number of cases in 2016 for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Though we hope for these numbers to drop for subsequent years , decreased government funding for health centers has already led to increased costs for testing in several areas, resulting in fewer people getting evaluated.
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Can A Pregnant Woman Pass On A Sexually Transmitted Disease To Her Baby
Pregnant women with a STD may infect their baby before, during, or after the baby’s birth. For this reason, your healthcare provider will screen you for most STDs at your first prenatal visit. If you have sex with someone who is affected, after your initial screening, you will need to be tested again. Treatment of STDs is the best way to protect you and your baby.
Which Stis Cause Pregnancy Complications
Some STIs make it difficult to initially conceive, while others pose a risk while youre pregnant.
Syphilis in pregnancy is particularly dangerous, as it can cause miscarriage, prematurity, stillbirth, neonatal death, low birth weight, or a serious infection in the baby.
Trichomonas might cause your baby to be born prematurely or with a low birth weight. At this moment in time, we dont know how big of an issue this is and more research is needed.
Genital herpes can sometimes cause problems for the baby – this depends on whether you have recurrent genital herpes or whether you caught it for the first time during the last six weeks of your pregnancy. If you caught herpes for the first time, your body hasnt had enough time to make antibodies to protect the baby during pregnancy and childbirth. This means your baby can catch it during vaginal delivery. Your baby might get neonatal herpes, which is quite serious, but easily treatable. This is why some women are offered a caesarean section if it is certain that they got their first-ever genital herpes outbreak in the later stages of pregnancy. If youve had genital herpes outbreaks before you fell pregnant you may just be offered a course of suppression therapy to reduce the chance of an outbreak during labour.
Stds & Fertility: Can You Get Pregnant With A Sexually Transmitted Disease
Past and present sexual health can play an important role in fertility. Some sexually transmitted diseases can leave scarring and inflammation which make it more difficult to conceive, even after the infection has been treated.
For women, this scarring usually occurs as a side effect of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which develops as a secondary infection after contracting an STD. Having an active STD while pregnant may also have consequences for the health of the baby. Increasingly, the term STD is being replaced with STI, or sexually transmitted infection. This is to underline that many people can be infected without showing symptoms or developing a disease. Someone with an asymptomatic STI may still be at risk of passing on the infection to a partner or baby, or may eventually develop symptoms later.
Discussing your sexual health status can be uncomfortable, but it is an essential part of planning for a baby. The good news is that if you do have a history of a sexually transmitted infection, there are treatments which can help. Understanding how an STI can affect your fertility and what to do about it is important for any patient who wants to get pregnant after an STI.
Here is a look at some of the STDs, their potential impact on fertility and how you and your doctors can overcome fertility challenges and minimize risk before you get pregnant.
Chlamydia Cdc Fact Sheet
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can be easily cured. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version
Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated .
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Just How Is Chlamydia Spread Can Chlamydia Stop You From Getting Pregnant
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, rectal, or oral sex with a person who has chlamydia.
If your sex companion is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate.
If youve had chlamydia as well as were treated in the past, you can still obtain contaminated again. This can take place if you have unsafe sex with somebody who has chlamydia.
If you are pregnant, you can provide chlamydia to your baby throughout giving birth.
How Are Fertility Complications Caused By Stis Treated
If chlamydia or gonorrhoea cause PID or inflammation in the testicles or epididymis, this can be treated with antibiotics. Youll usually need a 14-day course, which might involve having injections as well as taking tablets.
Syphilis and trichomoniasis can also be treated with antibiotics, but genital herpes requires antiviral medicine as its caused by a virus.
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Female Issues Of Without Treatment Chlamydia
Some women develop PID, an infection that can damage the uterus, cervix, and also ovaries. PID is an excruciating disease that usually needs medical facility therapy.
Women can likewise become sterile if chlamydia is left untreated due to the fact that the fallopian tubes may become scarred.
Expecting ladies with the infection can pass the bacteria to their children throughout birth, which can trigger eye infections and also pneumonia in babies. Can Chlamydia Stop You From Getting Pregnant
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Most men and women with chlamydia have no signs or symptoms, which makes it very easy to spread. Some people have the infection for many months or years without knowing it.
Women who get symptoms may have:
- vaginal discharge
- bleeding between periods or after sex
- burning or pain when urinating
- abdominal or pelvic pain
- pain during sex
Men who get symptoms may have some clear discharge from the penis or pain during urination.
In rare cases, people with chlamydia have sore joints or inflammation of the eye .
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Your Fertility Questions Answered
Can I get pregnant at any time of my cycle?
Yes, although the chances of getting pregnant at the beginning or end of your cycle are very low. The problem is, if you don’t want to be pregnant, you can’t take chances.
While it will vary from woman to woman, you are usually most fertile around 2 weeks before your next period is due. This is when an egg is released from your ovaries .
Sperm can live for up to 5 days inside you, so even if you have sex early on in your cycle there is a possibility sperm will still be there when you ovulate and the egg will be fertilised. If you ovulate early, it would be possible to get pregnant shortly after your period finishes.
Some women think if they’ve had unprotected sex a few times and not become pregnant that they may be infertile, but all this suggests is they probably weren’t having sex at their fertile time.
If you’ve had unprotected sex and don’t want to be pregnant, use emergency contraception as soon as possible after it’s happened.
I’ve had chlamydia – will that make it more difficult for me to conceive?
Most women who have had chlamydia won’t have any difficulties conceiving that are related to the infection.
If you are under 25, the NHS recommends you are tested every year or when you change partners. You can also request a free postal self-test kit on line in your local area. Find out more information online from NHS Choices
Does it become harder to conceive the older I get?
Does abortion lead to infertility?
How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex .
It’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.
Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.
The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
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Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.
Preventing Transmission During Sex
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Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
A lot of us don’t realize that some sexually transmitted diseases can cause no symptoms, meaning you could have an STD and not know it. And some STDs can silently lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain.
Chlamydia is one of those diseases. CDC estimates that more than 2.8 million people are infected each year.
Chlamydia is most common in sexually active young adults. More than half of all infections involve people ages 18 to 24. You can get chlamydia during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. The disease can cause penile discharge in men and infertility in women. It can also cause serious health problems in newborn babies of infected mothers.
Many women, and some men, are infected with chlamydia but don’t know it. Even without symptoms, the disease can cause complications, particularly infertility. The longer the infection is untreated, the more damage that can be done.
If symptoms do show up, they usually occur within weeks of exposure. Men and women may face painful urination, an abnormal discharge from the urethra, or both. Women also may have abdominal pain, bleeding, and an abnormal discharge from the vagina. Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected and may be very mild.
In pregnant women, chlamydia can cause premature delivery, the CDC says. A child born to an infected woman can develop an infection in their eyes and respiratory tracts.
Whats The Treatment For Chlamydia
Its really easy for docs to treat the chlamydia infection itself just a course of antibiotics, which your GP or GUM clinic can prescribe.
Any conditions that occur as a result can also be treated with antibiotics, in the early stages.
The NHS says those who catch PID early will get prescribed a 14-day course, a mix of injections and tablets, to clear up the infection.
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Can Chlamydia Cause Other Problems
In addition to infertility in women, chlamydia can have a negative impact on male health, too. It can cause epididymo-orchitis .
In some cases, it can also go on to cause reactive arthritis, which is caused by STIs and can affect multiple parts of your body.
It usually lasts around 3 6 months , after the STI has been caught and treated.
Essentially, all were saying is that you dont want this infection to run away from you. Best to catch it quick, and treat it quick.
How Can I Protect Myself From Sexually Transmitted Disease
Here are some basic steps you can take to help protect yourself from STDs:
- Not having sex is the only sure way to prevent STDs.
- Use a condom every time you have sex.
- Limit your number of sex partners.
- Practice monogamy. This means having sex with only one person. That person must also have sex with only you to reduce your risk.
- Get checked for STDs. Don’t risk giving the infection to someone else or your baby. Just because you have been screened in early pregnancy, doesn’t mean you can’t contract an STD later in pregnancy. If you have engaged in unprotected sex since your initial STD screening, please request another set of STD screenings from your healthcare provider.
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs before you have sex, especially when pregnant. You might be less likely to practice safe sex if you are drunk or high.
- Know the signs and symptoms of STDs. Look for them in yourself and your sex partners.
- Learn about STDs. The more you know about STDs, the better you can protect yourself.
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Why Is It Important To Have A Sexual Health Check
Sexually transmitted infections are passed from one person to another through sex or genital contact. They are sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted diseases .
If you have a new partner, or you have any symptoms or are worried about STIs it is important to get tested. STIs can affect your chances of getting pregnant, as well as your baby.
Common symptoms of an STI include:
- unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
- pain when peeing
- lumps or skin growths around the genitals or anus
- a rash
- itchy genitals or anus
- blisters and sores around the genitals or anus
However, most STIs have no symptoms or only mild symptoms that you may not realise are caused by an infection. This means that many people who have an STI will not know they are infected and can pass it on to any sexual partners.
If they are not treated, some STIs can:
- cause health problems for you and your baby during pregnancy
- be passed on to your baby
Most STIs can be treated with antibiotics, special creams or shampoos. But some treatments are not suitable if you are pregnant. Its a good idea for you and your partner to get checked before you try for a baby.