There was a time when we heard a lot more about the importance of practicing safe sex to avoid contracting an STD. Today, there seems to be a general belief that most men and women understand the need for condom-use and the long-term effects that may occur if a sexually-transmitted disease is contracted.
Some, not all, sexually-transmitted diseases pose a direct threat to fertility, not to mention general health and wellness. For men, this may be that sperm count is diminished, or that the motility of sperm is degraded. Because of many STDs, even those that can damage fertility, produce no symptoms, the danger that is living in the body is not noticed for months – or possibly years. This is why the importance of STD screenings has not diminished the more we have become aware of the risks of these conditions.
STDs and your Fertility
There are three sexually-transmitted diseases that have been associated with infertility. These include:
- This condition may cause painful urination or general testicular pain, as well as discharge from the urethra or the rectum.
- Like Chlamydia, this STD can cause general pain in the testicles, as well as swelling. Urination may carry a burning sensation, and a man may notice discharge from the penis. In some cases, Gonorrhea is asymptomatic.
- Mycoplasma Genitalium or MG is a widely asymptomatic condition, though some patients complain of burning upon urination, discharge from the penis, or painful, swollen joints.
It is good news that treatment options have been developed to either manage the symptoms of an STD or cure it altogether. However, based on the limited chance of symptoms developing quickly enough to prevent long-term damage to fertility, prevention remains the best medicine. Ever sexual experience calls for a condom in addition to some contraceptive.
The conversation regarding sexually-transmitted diseases has not become irrelevant in light of treatment options. This is a topic that is worth discussing with your physician, and one that a man (or woman) should not shy away from. Screenings continue to be an important matter that goes hand in hand with preventive measures.
If you have questions or think you may have been exposed to an STD, contact us for a thorough consultation and screening. We’re happy to see you in our Plano office. Call (972) 403-5425.
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