Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Fertility

Can STIs cause problems with fertility?

Many sexually transmitted infections (or STIs) can show no symptoms and remain undiagnosed for years, putting your fertility (or your partner’s fertility) at risk without your knowledge.

Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are examples of STIs that can have an impact on fertility. If you suspect that you may have symptoms of an STI or have had contact with someone with an STI you should discuss this with your GP.


Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, most common in people aged 25 or younger. Because there are often no symptoms it can be undiagnosed for a long time. However, if it is not treated it can cause damage to the fallopian tubes which may lead to problems with fertility in women.

Chlamydia can also cause infections in men’s reproductive organs.


This bacterial infection can affect the vagina, urethra, rectum, penis and mouth. It is possible to unknowingly carry and pass on this infection.

If untreated gonorrhoea may lead to future fertility problems in both men and women.


Syphilis is an uncommon but serious bacterial STI that can seriously effect the fetus during pregnancy. It can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage or congenital abnormalities. Once diagnosed it can be treated easily with antibiotics.

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