The reproductive tract refers to the reproductive system or the genital system of both internal and external organs in males and females. It is responsible for the survival of species and procreation. In the normal functioning of these organs, sperm production takes place in the testes and one egg or ovum is released and sent to the fallopian tube during the ovulation period. Fertilization takes place through sexual intercourse and the fertilized egg is implanted in the endometrial lining of the uterus where the process of child bearing begins.
However, sometimes, men and women suffer from unexplained infertility which can be a result of an underlying medical condition or due to passive types of reproductive tract infection. In many instances, people don’t even know they have a reproductive tract infection as there may be no symptoms at all. If you are finding it difficult to conceive, there might be a chance of you having a reproductive tract infection.
Reproductive tract infections (RTI) are infections that occur in the reproductive tract of both species (i.e. male and female). Infections in the reproductive tract can cause serious complications to life as well as to fertility. While urinary and reproductive tract infections can affect male fertility, it is women who run a higher risk of infertility and complications with these infections. The most common causes of reproductive tract infections are poor hygiene, unprotected sex – that give rise to STD causing infertility, and in some cases, medical negligence. There are three types of reproductive tract infections:
In the general functioning of the reproductive system, there is a normal production and balance of infectious organisms or bacteria that are asymptomatic or dormant in nature. When there is an overgrowth or imbalance of these organisms in the body, the infection is called endogenous infection. In simple words, endogenous infection happens when we are infected by our own bacteria.
The most common endogenous infection example is bacterial vaginosis. Although bacterial vaginosis (BV) can affect all women, leaving it untreated can pose possible challenges in fertility. Some of the common ways BV can decrease fertility are as follows:
Infertility due to STDs are the most common causes of reproductive tract infections that are passed on from one infected person to a healthy person through sexual intercourse or genital contact. They are also called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and can cause a lot of damage to the reproductive organs. The most common symptoms of an STD are as follows:
Unfortunately, some STD causing infertility may be dormant and you may have mild to no symptoms at all. This means that people who have the infection without any symptoms may unintentionally pass on the infection sexually. Most of the sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia cause infertility and can even be passed on to your unborn child. Some of the common STD causing infertility are as follows:
Latrogenic infections are infections caused by medical procedures such as abortions, menstrual regulations or in childbirth. These infections usually occur due to poor sterilization of medical tools or due to medical negligence. They can also occur in cases of already existing upper reproductive tract infections being pushed into the lower reproductive tract.
Reproductive tract infections are mostly curable and do not pose any challenges infertility, provided they are treated early. If you or anyone you know, show any signs or symptoms of a reproductive tract infection, kindly consult a doctor at the earliest possible to avoid serious damage to organs and functions of the reproductive system. Dr. Banker is a renowned fertility specialist who specializes in infertility treatments in Ahmedabad. For more information on infertility, visit us on Banker IVF.
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