Several types of infections can affect a woman’s fertility. Most often the impact is short-term and can be corrected once the infection is diagnosed and treated. In some instances however, especially with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the effects can be long term.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Recurrent UTIs are not necessarily a sign of a fertility problem, but are sometimes indicative of other problems. A UTI is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, which includes the urethra, bladder and kidneys. If a woman has this type of infection chronically it should be mentioned to a fertility specialist or healthcare provider. Sometimes, symptoms associated with UTIs, such as painful urination, may also indicate pelvic inflammatory disease(PID).

Sexually Transmitted infections (STIs)

There are several common STIs that may have a serious impact on a woman’s fertility, including chlamydia and gonorrhea; 103,716 cases of chlamydia were reported in Canada in 2012. Even if a woman had chlamydia several years ago and was treated for it with antibiotics, the lingering effects of an STI can be destructive. Chlamydia can do permanent damage by causing scarring if not treated right away, and can eventually lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is one of the major causes of infertility among young women in their reproductive years. The more times PID occurs, the greater the risk for infertility.

Yeast Infections

Like urinary tract infections (UTIs), recurrent yeast infections (Candida vaginitis) are common. A number of factors may contribute to the development of a yeast infection, including hormonal factors, depressed immune function, or antibiotic use. Women should mention recurrent yeast infections to their healthcare provider or infertility specialist.

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