We’ll be providing full support to people with infections, who are going through (or thinking about) fertility treatment
When looking after patients going through fertility treatment, it’s important to screen for and treat any type of infection before starting with the treatment itself. This can improve the chances of becoming pregnant and reduce risk of pregnancy complications. Untreated infections can get worse with fertility treatment or even with pregnancy. For example, during the embryo implantation treatment, an infection can potentially lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.
If someone is pregnant and has an infection like chlamydia, it could get passed on to the baby when it is born. It is important to treat these infections before becoming pregnant, so we don’t put the child at risk. Don’t forget, most infections that cannot be treated can still be managed, for example HIV and Hepatitis. People living with HIV who become pregnant, or who get the virus during pregnancy, can still live a normal life.
Infertility (in men and women) can often be due to an infection, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or syphilis. In men, infections can cause painful and swollen testicles, which may lead to low quality semen. In women STIs can cause scarring or inflammation in the uterus and fallopian tubes.
We’ll also be supporting patients who are going through menopause with their sexual health
Some menopausal or post-menopausal women may have symptoms of menopause that overlap with the symptoms of an infection.
For example, chlamydia can cause vaginal and bladder symptoms. These symptoms can include pain, itching of the vagina or discomfort during sex, frequent and burning urination (signs of recurrent urinary tract infections),all of which can be mistaken as symptoms of menopause.
As people reach an age where they’re no longer worried about pregnancy, they may start taking fewer precautions when having sex. Again, this can increase the chance of spreading infections.
Sexual health is important for everyone
And of course, sexual health is important for everyone to take care of – even if you’re not currently affected by fertility issues or menopause. 70-80% of people who have STIs are asymptomatic. If we’ve learnt anything from covid, it’s that even if you’re asymptomatic, if you’ve been at risk of exposure (and as a regular precaution) you should get tested.
Leaving an STI untreated can be life changing for your health. It can cause infertility, organ damage and even certain types of cancers.
We strongly encourage anyone who is sexually active to do screenings as often as is sensible, so if they are carrying an infection, it can get treated and to stop it spreading.
Sexual health is an important consideration for your workplace
Like any other service we provide at Fertifa, we are empowering people to educate themselves about sexual health and making it easy for them to access the support if they may need it. We want to remove the barriers around sex and reproductive health, so people are not scared to talk about it.
And remember – if you have a new partner, it’s wise for both people to do a screening test. If you or your partner have any symptoms, get tested.
If you are worried about your sexual health, here are some ways to get help: