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STDs and Infertility

  • Use condoms - Consistent condom use reduces the risk of STDs and STD-related fertility problems significantly. In one study, women who reported regular use of condoms were 60 percent less likely to become infertile. Until you're ready to start trying to conceive, use a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex. For vaginal sex, use a latex male condom or a female polyurethane condom. For anal sex, use a latex male condom. For oral sex, use a dental dam.

  • Educate yourself - Be aware that some methods of birth control, such as birth control pills, shots, implants and diaphragms will not protect you from STDs. If you are using one of these methods and are not in a monogamous relationship, use a condom every time you have sex.

  • Have regular pelvic exams - Doctors usually recommend a routine Pap smear once every year until you've had at least three normal ones. After this, you should have a Pap smear at least once every three years, unless your doctor thinks you need them more often. Ask your doctor to test you for gonorrhea and other STDs during your routine Pap smear. The sooner an infection is found, the easier it is to treat.


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