Illnesses That Affect Reproductive Organs

words Alexa Wang

Infertility is a problem that affects roughly 1 in 6 people worldwide, yet it is an issue that many feel uncomfortable talking about.

While many cases of infertility are unexplained, there are certain illnesses that can have a detrimental effect on your reproductive organs.

From sexually transmitted infections to gynecological cancers, read on to discover # health problems that affect the reproductive system and can make it more difficult to conceive.

Reproductive health


Endometriosis is a common condition that affects the function of a woman’s reproductive system. More specifically, it causes bleeding during menstruation to occur not only inside the uterus but wherever the endometrium has landed. This can cause scarring and inflammation, both of which can make it more difficult to get pregnant.

An estimated 1 in 10 women have endometriosis, and roughly 40% of women who have infertility have this condition.

Some of the most common symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • Chronic pelvic pain before and during menstruation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Heavy periods
  • Pain when urinating and during bowel movements

Gynecological cancers

There are several different types of gynecological cancers including prostate cancer in men and cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, and uterine cancer in women.

Gynecological cancers are more common in men and women over the age of 50, although they can occur at any age. Some of these cancers are also more common in women who are obese and in those going through the menopause.

If you would like more information on gynecological cancers or want to find out how to get diagnosed or be treated, the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a great source of help and advice.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by either bacteria, viruses, or parasites and are passed from one person to another via sexual contact. It is worth knowing that many sexually transmitted diseases can be passed on without having sexual intercourse with someone who is infected.

There are a number of different sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, and HIV. Some are easily treated with a course of antibiotics, and others are incurable.

If you suspect that you may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, then you should make an appointment with your doctor or your nearest sexual health clinic to be tested.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome, often referred to as PCOS, is a condition that affects an estimated 5 million women in the United States.

It is one of the leading causes of infertility in women and causes the body to produce more male hormones than normal. This, in turn, can lead to cysts growing on the ovaries.

Some of the most common symptoms of PCOS are:

  • Weight gain
  • Irregular periods
  • Thinning or balding hair
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Pelvic pain

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are also more likely to experience miscarriages as well as difficulty conceiving.

Final thoughts

Whether you are trying to conceive or not, it is important that you look after your reproductive organs. If you have noticed any symptoms such as pain in the area, bleeding, or unusual discharge, then make an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist as soon as possible.


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