Surging STD Rates Heighten Infertility Concerns in India

The rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and genital mycoplasma, is exacerbating infertility rates in India. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (1 Reliable source
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

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) can pass from one infected person to another through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and other body fluids through sexual contact. Although these are usually asymptomatic, they can cause serious complications such as sterilityin both men and women, if left untreated.

Declining total fertility rate in India

Furthermore, a recent Lancet study showed that India Total fertility rate (TFR), the average number of children born per woman, is falling irreversibly to 1.29, well below the replacement rate of 2.1. Explaining the link between the two, gynecologist Dr Manisha Singh of Fortis Hospital, Bengaluru, told IANS: “STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilisand Mycoplasma genitalium can stealthily alter Fertility. They caused inflammation and scars on reproductive organs, such as the fallopian tubes in women or sperm ducts in men.”

“Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common infections in women that can cause infertility. These infections cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to chronic inflammation and damage to reproductive organs such as fallopian tubes and uterus, making conception difficult,” added Dr Dhivya Chandrasekar, Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru.

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“In men, it results in inflammation of the urethratesticles and other reproductive organs, which can lead to serious conditions such as epididymitis or prostatitis, harming sperm production and quality,” he told IANS. Doctors said detecting and treating these infections early and having safe sex are crucial to protecting fertility. When the tubes become blocked, it may require In vitro fertilization (IVF), where fertilization occurs outside the body in a laboratory, as it cannot occur naturally inside the fallopian tubes.

“If the presence of an STI is suspected, it is best to diagnose it as soon as possible. Preventive measures must be prioritized, such as when used correctly and consistently, condoms offer one of the most effective methods of protection against STIs, including HIV,” said Dr. Dhivya.


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