The impact of an infection, such as gum disease, on your IVF cycle

When you think about the reasons for not being able to conceive naturally, you usually think about infertility causes such as blocked tubes, scarring, lack of ovulation, or low sperm to name just a few. What you certainly don’t think about is Gum disease! However, in a recent conversation with Dr Meric from IVF Turkey, he explained that Gum Disease can indeed affect fertility.

Here, we delve deeper and ask Dr Meric if there are other infections to look out for…..

Dr Meric, can you start by explaining to us how Gum Disease can affect your fertility?

All types of infections in the body may affect egg quality and more importantly endometrial tissue. Several interactions occur during the course of implantation that necessitates collaboration of countless cells and chemicals. During an active infection increased immune cells and chemicals namely cytokins may disturb the endometrium and hamper the chance of implantation and a successful pregnancy.

Moving to the other end of the body, we have heard that the creams used to treat yeast infections can cause infertility, because they make it difficult for the sperm to travel to the egg. Is this true?

Vaginal creams and tablets may deteriorate vaginal fluids and pH which is crucial on sperm motility and transport. Therefore, nothing should be applied into vagina at the time of ovulation to enhance pregnancy rate.

What other infections should we look out for that no one really ever talks about?

Apart from all cervical and vaginal infections skin infection, tooth decay, oral hygiene even gastrointestinal tract infections should be looked out prior to an IVF treatment. As a rule all types of infections, wherever located, may pose a risk on pregnancy rate.

What are the most common STDs that can cause infertility if untreated?

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia infections which are cervical infections may cause infertility by damaging Fallopian tubes. Additionally, there have been many studies demonstrating that even common vaginitis may lower the fertility potential disturbing sperm transport.

When you start your initial fertility tests with your doctor, do they test for all of these infections?

It is generally recommended to screen Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, that are sexually transmitted diseases, in the cervical swab and check out the vagina for the presence of vaginitis in women with the history of infertility. In case she has complaints of discharge and itching these symptoms should be treated before an IVF attempt as an embryo transfer catheter will be contaminated in the presence of severe vaginal infection.

Huge thanks to Dr Meric. If you have any further questions for the doctor, please do drop him a line at IVF Turkey.




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