" /> Diseases that fuel fertility (1) | Hallmarknews
Published On: Tue, Nov 10th, 2015

Diseases that fuel fertility (1)

A wide range of health conditions ranging from sexually transmitted infections to chronic diseases can affect fertility in both men and men, experts have said.

Sometimes something as simple as high fever which is associated with discomfort and  body weakness may impede optimal functioning of the reproductive organs albeit temporally, but the commonest and most virulent cause of infertility are sexually transmitted infections(STIs).

The worst culprits when it comes to STIs that affect fertility are the trio of Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis.

Gonorrhea is an STI caused by the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis while Syphilis is caused by the spirochete bacterium, Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum which infects people by burrowing into the moist mucous membranes of the mouth or genitals.

Signs and symptoms

The mode of transmission for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and  syphilis is through vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person or from an infected mother to her unborn child during vaginal childbirth.

Symptoms of gonorrhea include burning sensation while urinating, whitish yellowish discharge, and swollen testicles though sometimes the symptoms go unnoticed when it is first contacted. Individual.

Symptoms of Chlamydia as outlined by Dr Joseph Akinde, a gynaecologist include, pains during urination, swelling of the testes, discharge in men and in  women,  abnormal vaginal discharge, burning sensation when urinating, lower abdominal pain, low back pain, pain during intercourse and spotting(bleeding between periods). All these symptoms  come one to three weeks after intercourse with an infected person or much later . Dr Akinde revealed: “ When you take a sample of the discharge, in case of Gonorrhea, you will be able to culture it but in Chlamydia, you won’t be able to. Routine test cannot identify the causative organism, so you need a special test.”

According to  www.nhs.uk.com, symptoms of syphilis, include painless sore or open around the genitals, lips, mouth  tonsils, fingers or buttocks at the primary stage(10 days to three months after first contact). At the secondary, a non-itchy skin rash on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet, small skin growths on the vulva or around the anus, flu-like symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, joint pains and fever and swollen lymph glands  and  weight loss. It progresses to the latent stage, where the syphilis infection  shows no symptom though can still be passed on. At the tertiary stage, it can manifest as stroke, dementia ,paralysis, blindness, deafness, heart disease, skin rashes and even death.

According to Dr Akinde, syphilis causes ulceration of the genital tracts in both sexes(painless sore on the penis or the vagina or anus. The ulcer heals up after about six weeks and is followed by symptoms like a sick feeling including a fever, headache, rash, sore throat and swollen glands. If left untreated for many years, syphilis can cause serious complications such as infertility, problems with the  heart, blood vessels, bones and the skin.

STIs as a public health concern

Sexually transmitted infections including Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis are a public health concern. According to WHO, an estimated 500 million people acquire one of four sexually transmitted infections  chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.

In Nigeria, there are little or no official statistics on the trio of Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis as cases are underreported.  Most patients do not report to hospitals but resort to self- medication due fear of stigma or high cost of healthcare. Many of them patronize quacks and charlatans who experts fear, further complicate their fertility chances.

How they affect fertility

These infections are known to cause structural damage to the reproductive system in both men and women, thereby posing dangerous threat to fertility. They could go undetected for long or lead to acute symptoms, chronic infection and serious delayed consequences such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous, stillbirth, and deaths of both infants and adults.  In women, they could cause pelvic inflammatory disease which is responsible for 30% to 40% of cases of female infertility.

Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes and infertility(in both men and women. According to estimates by fertility experts, one- third of all IVF treatments are needed due to damages caused by Chlamydia which is known as “silent disease.” If left untreated, syphilis is known to cause spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and congenital syphilis and in extreme cases, deaths.  MedicineNet.com, an online medical resource site, noted that at the chronic stage, syphilis may affect the brain and can cause paralysis.

The gynaecologists who spoke to Business Hallmark noted that gonorrhea leads to tubal blockage in women and blockage of the spermatic duct in men. Gonorrhea can also leads to inflammation of the epididymis (the  tube leading from the testes to the vas deferens where the sperm mature).  This can lead to infertility if left untreated.

A Consultant Gynaecologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital,(LUTH), Dr Ayodeji Oluwole, who revealed that  Gonorrhea and Chlamydia  are common but ‘less quickly diagnosed in Nigeria, said, “The bacterial infections are the most commonest and the most virulent. These infections can destroy a man or woman’s ability to procreate. For men, these infections could lead to azoospermia(no sperm at all). Some may have oligospermia-reduction in sperm or low sperm count.”

A gynaecologist, Dr Joseph Akinde, of Living Spring Hospital, Ejigbo Lagos noted that just like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia causes the blockage of the tube in women and the spermatic duct, and the testes in men.

According to Dr Akinde, Gonorrhea is usually asymptomatic in women but in men, symptoms that presents two to five days after intercourse with an infected person include painful urination, pains during sexual intercourse and a prurient pus/or discharge from the urethra.

They do not only impair fertility but also make their sufferers vulnerable to HIV infection.

Treatment

STIs sufferers are advised to seek medical help fast to forestall damage to their reproductive organs. Health experts say all the three infections are best treated early with antibiotics. “A lot of these STIs present in such a classical way that we have antibiotics they are sensitive to, noted Dr Akinde.

There are antibiotics which are WHO recommended syndromic treatment for the causative organisms responsible for  both gonococcal and non-gonococcal infections. According to medical experts, syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages with a single intramuscular injection of the antibiotic, penicillin, if it is less than a year. Additional doses are needed to treat someone who has had syphilis for a longer period.

Early treatment is of utmost importance because, for instance in the case of syphilis, shortly after infection occurs, the body produces syphilis antibodies that can be detected by blood test. A low level of antibodies stays in the blood for months or years even after the disease has been successfully treated.

Experts advise against self-medication when treating any of these infections to prevent  further damage. There are growing concerns that some of these STIs are growing resistant to antibiotics. A recent report by the US Centre for Disease Control(CDC) revealed that gonorrhea is growing resistatnt to many antibiotic treatment options. Consequently, medics advise sufferers against self-medication. Concurrent treatment of partner is also recommended. Patients undergoing treatment are also advised to abstain from sexual contact with partners until they are healed.

Prevention better than cure

The best way to protect against Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis is abstinence. Dr Akinde advocated sticking to mutually monogamous relationship with uninfected partner. Some experts recommend consistent use of condom though they admit that condom is not 100% effective as in cases like syphilis infection, the genital sores can occur in areas that are not covered by a condom.

BY UCHE AKOLISA

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Recent posts

  • Time is ripe for rates cut, says Rewane as inflation slows further in Oct.

    FELIX OLOYEDE This is the appropriate time for the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cut benchmark monetary rates after inflation rate slows down for the ninth consecutive time in October, said Mr Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives. The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released Consumer Price […]

  • ELAN National Lease Conference Focuses on Revamping Nigerian Economy

    FELIX OLOYEDE In furtherance of its objective of promoting the business of leasing in Nigeria, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) has concluded plans to organise the 15th Annual National Lease Conference with focus on revamping the Nigerian economy. The conference which is the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the leasing industry is expected to […]

  • Nigeria-centric restaurant, Labule, opens new outlet in Lagos

    Labule, Nigeria-centric restaurant, operated by an indigenous company, Roots Foods Limited, offering real Nigerian local delicacies in a unique environment that combines the setting of a modern quick service restaurant with that of an African setting of a local ‘buka’, has opened a new outlet on Admiralty Road in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The brand […]

  • Nigerian banks shine in Ghana

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigerian banks have been credited with “revolutionizing “the banking sector in Ghana, due to the many innovations they brought to Ghana’s banking sector. The Ghana Deputy Minister of Trade and Investment Hon. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah said in Lagos that the innovation and transformation of the Ghana’s banking sector is credited to the […]

  • Ajimobi moves to save Oyo APC from disintegration

    By OLUSESAN LAOYE The seeming crisis in Oyo APC has now forced the Governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, to begin consultations with stakeholders to convinced members on why they must come together as a body to face the 2019 general elections, Although the internal crisis is yet to break open as the aggrieved party […]

  • YolaDisCo sale stalled as no potential buyers emerge

    By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU Two years after the core investors of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, YolaDisCo, declared a force majeure owing to their inability to operate under the reign of terror unleased by Boko Haram, the Federal Government is yet to find any investor interested in operating the utility company, it has been learnt. In […]

  • Company Analysis: Much Ado about Seplat

      By TESLIM SHITA-BEY The oil and gas sector has had a bumpy since the beginning of 2017 with local oil major, Seplat, seeing its financials whipped raw by prior year liabilities despite rising revenues over the nine months (9M). The company in the last two years has moved from being distinctively bad to singularly […]

  • How to start a photography business

    By ZUBAIR DANIE While photography could be accounted for as a full blown course in any offering institution of learning for professionalism, the field equally provides a platform for individuals whose passion it is to project images as a form of livelihood. The socio-cultural aspect of Nigerians that play host of events like: wedding, naming, […]

  • BOFE to celebrate unsung heroes in local communities

    OluwasolaJesuseitan, a brand and advertising expert, is an advocate of sustainable brand communications. He is also the founder, Business Owners Forum Enterprise (BOFE), a non-profit making organization, which seeks to build the capacity of business owners in and around Akute, Ogun State. He tells FELIX OLOYEDE in this interview of his organization is promoting business […]

  • Lager wars: Who wins?

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigeria has many lager beer producing companies, some have been in existence for over 50 years while others are quite new in existence in the country. Some of these companies that have over the years churned out millions, if not billions of bottles of beer to Nigerian drinkers are: Nigeria Breweries Plc, […]

  • Nestle sparkles in Q3 results

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU As the packaged Consumer goods (PCG) sector struggles to stay ahead of falling consumer demand, companies such as Nestle Nigeria plc are bucking the trend of businesses with shrinking bottom lines. Indeed the multi-product packaged goods producer has seen earnings rise to mind boggling with its pre-tax profit rising by a stunning […]

  • 2018 Budget proposals renew old anxieties

          FELIX OLOYEDE   Mixed reactions trailed the presentation of the 2018 federal government budget by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly (NASS) last week. Public policy analysts have expressed moods from the congenially positive to the outright incredulous. The staggering N8.6 trillion expenditure plan is one of the most audacious in […]

  • Anambra 2017: Obiano battles for life

    By Obinna Ezugwu The time has finally arrived. On Saturday the people of Anambra State will head to the polls to either renew the mandate of the incumbent state governor, Chief Willie Obiano who is running for a second term in office, or elect fresh hands from among other prominent contenders, including Mr. Oseloka Obaze […]

  • (Editorial) CBN’s BVN distraction and matters arising

    Nigeria’s fiscal and monetary authorities have a frustrating way of responding to the seizure of private assets; they typically gloat with glazed eyes over private citizen’s money ready to pounce on the cash like a pack of hyenas starved witless. The recent order by the Central Bank of Nigeria that customer accounts that are not […]

  • 12 Yoga tips for beginners

    The popularity of yoga has soared in the last decades, and it seems that every other friend and acquaintance of ours is already practicing it. But don’t let it fool you into thinking it is easy: yoga is quite challenging, especially for beginners. The good news is that there are some practical tips to make […]

  • Finally, embattled IGP, Ibrahim Idris, appears before Senate

    The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has arrived before the Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the allegations and counter-allegations between him and Senator Isa Misau. The IGP was accompanied by his lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN) and Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.   Details […]


Visit us on Google+