Abnormal and often smelly discharge from the vagina or penis Abdominal pain

Abnormal and often smelly discharge from the vagina or penis Abdominal pain

Aburning sensation when passing urine Flu-like feeling and a high fever symptomless, but it can produce an unpleasant vaginal discharge and abdominal and urinary pain. Untreated gonorrhoea often leads to pelvic inflammatory disease and blocked fallopian tubes (see below). Men show symptoms including discharge, abdominal pain, and a high fever.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) This occurs when an untreated STI (often chlamydia) spreads up through the cervix and into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and pelvis. PID often causes painful intercourse but the disease can be symptomless and some women don’t realize there is a problem until they try to conceive. The infection itself is easily treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated for some time, it can cause scarring or even blockage to

Dye shows up narrowing and distortion of the fallopian tube Blocked fallopian tube Uterus cannot be seen because no dye can enter it the fallopian tubes. If that is the case, your fertility will be affected and you will run a greater risk of having an ectopic pregnancy (26). Surgery would be necessary to remove the blockage.

PID is diagnosed by introducing contrast dye into the uterus. Here, one fallopian tube is distorted, the other blocked.

Herpes This is a common STI but one that very few people openly admit to having contracted. The herpes simplex virus is dormant in the majority of the population, so they probably don’t even know they carry it. There are two types of herpes viruses: type 1 (HSV1) causes cold sores; type 2 (HSV2) causes genital herpes. If you contract HSV2 the initial infection is usually the worst, producing flu-like symptoms, a burning sensation around the genitalia, aching legs, and genital sores or blisters that are uncomfortable and itchy. You are contagious for around five days after the sores have crusted over, which in itself can take a week. Once you are infected, subsequent flare-ups tend to occur during times where your immunity is under attack: when you are unwell, tired, or under stress, for example. Women can also find that hormonal changes set off an attack around the time of menstruation. If you are getting regular attacks you will not be able to have unprotected sex, and so are limiting the times when you can conceive. In other respects, herpes does not compromise your fertility.

Trichomoniasis This STI, caused by the organism Trichomonas vaginalis, doesn’t cause PID. However, as well as causing an itching and burning sensation in the vagina and urethra (and, for men, pain when urinating), it changes the consistency of the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to get through. As a result, fertility may be affected.

Bacterial vaginosis: mycoplasmosis, ureaplasmosis, gardnerella These bacterial infections are caused by microscopic organisms – Mycoplasma hotnitiis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Gardnerella vaginalis found in the genito-urinary tracts of men and women. They are normally harmless, and although they are not STIs as such they sometimes proliferate and can be transmitted from one partner to another. These organisms, which are often symptomless, are found in higher concentrations in couples who are having trouble conceiving. They may also be linked to the presence of another STI. Although they do not lead to PID in women, they are thought to raise the

Eating live natural yogurt helps to treat Candida by restoring the natural flora in the gut. chance of miscarriage, and men with mycoplasmosis have increased numbers of abnormal sperm. Because they are not routinely tested for on the NHS, you might think about paying to get yourself screened for these infections if you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for a while or have recently suffered a miscarriage. A short course of antibiotics normally clears up these infections within a couple of days, although the conditions do tend to recur.

Candida Although not an STI, a common condition that primarily affects the vaginal secretions is Candida, also known as vaginal thrush. If you notice that your secretions have become smelly or are making you feel itchy or uncomfortable, consult your doctor, as you may have developed thrush and it could be making it harder for you to conceive. Thrush (sometimes referred to as a yeast infection) occurs when the naturally occurring yeast, Candida albicans, which is present in our bodies, proliferates. If left untreated, it can impact on your health in general, making you feel very tired and run down and damaging your absorption of essential nutrients. Candida thrives on a poor diet that is high in refined sugar, so one of the easiest ways to cure this condition (as well as using anti-fungal creams or pessaries) and to prevent its return is to eat healthily and cut out refined sugars wherever possible. Eating live natural yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus also helps to restore the natural flora in the gut.

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