Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) increases your risk
of infertility, usually from scarring in and around the
fallopian tubes. Scarring, a result of
inflammation, can block or twist the tubes so that
neither sperm nor eggs can get through the tubes.
Tubal infertility develops in about 8% of women
who have had PID once (compared with 1% of women who have never had
Infertility risk doubles or triples
with each additional episode of PID.2
Most women who have blocked fallopian tubes do not remember ever
having symptoms of PID. The evaluation and tests to diagnose infertility may
show signs of a previous PID infection.
Although some people still think of fertility as a "woman's problem," a third of all cases of infertilty involve problems solely with the male partner. Infertility in a man may be the sole reason that a couple can't conceive, or it may simply add to the difficulties caused by infertility in his partner.
So it's crucial that men get tested for fertility as well as women. It's also important that men do it early. Though some guys may want to put off being tested -- possibly to avoid embarrassment...
Paavonen J, et al. (2008). Pelvic inflammatory disease. In KK Holmes et al., eds., Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 4th ed., pp. 1017-1050. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Soper DE (2010). Infections of the female pelvis. In Mandell, Douglas and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 7th ed., vol. 1, pp. 1511-1519. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
November 23, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 23, 2010
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