Genital tract infections are responsible for one out of every 10 men investigated for infertility. Infection can be caused by a large number of microorganisms. These are often bacteria or viruses. More rarely, there may be fungi or parasites. Microorganisms can settle anywhere on the sperm tract, from the testis to the urinary tract. Depending on where it is located, it can prevent a healthy pregnancy by either preventing the passage of sperm or impairing its functions.
Testicular inflammation is called orchitis. Since the testicles are the place where sperm production is made, their infections significantly affect the sperm count and quality. Mumps infections in adulthood cause orchitis in one out of every 4 men. About half of them seek treatment for infertility.
After the sperm leaves the testicle, it passes through a very thin channel, about 5 meters long, which we call epididymis. The epididymis is a very important gland in the fertilization capacity of the sperm. Inflammation often causes congestion here. If both sides are afflicted, eventually azoospermia will occur. The epididymis is where the infections caused by the microorganism Neisserria gonorrhoeae, known as gonorrhea, are most prevalent. It is especially encountered in young people between the ages of 15-24 and is sexually transmitted in unprotected relationships. Even if the epididymis inflammations are not obstructed, they can seriously reduce the fertilization success by disrupting the quality of the sperm.
Prostate inflammations, known as prostatitis, are usually seen in men over the age of 50. 14 out of every hundred men will be affected by prostatitis in some way during their lifetime. Products necessary for sperm health such as zinc, citric acid, calcium, and phosphate are found in high amounts in the prostate secretion. In case of infection, the quality of the sperm also deteriorates as a result of their decrease. In case of damage due to increased leukocyte in the prostate gland, obstruction may develop in the ducts and semen exit may be prevented.
In the event of an infection in the genital system, microorganisms may adhere to the sperm and prevent its movement and therefore prevent it from reaching the egg. Apart from this, deformity and more importantly DNA damage may develop in the sperm. It has been shown in numerous studies that DNA damage reduces fertilization success and increases the risk of miscarriage. Another harm of genital tract infections is that they develop antibodies against sperm, leading to immunological infertility. Immunological infertility continues to be an important subject on which research continues today. The transmission of infectious agents to his wife through sexual intercourse may also be a cause of infertility in women.
If there is an infection in the seminal canal in a man, the symptoms of this often manifest itself as deterioration in sperm parameters, burning at the semen exit, itching at the tip of the penis, and yellow-green foul-smelling discharge from the urethra. In the active period, symptoms such as severe testicular pain, redness and tenderness on the scrotum, frequent urination, burning while urinating, high fever, pain in the pelvic area are observed. If these symptoms are present, they should be examined as soon as possible and semen or urine culture should be done to look for microorganisms. If necessary, an antibiotic treatment can be started until the tests are completed. However, the diagnosis is not always easy in chlamydia, mycoplasma or viral infections. Some special tests may be required for this.
If it is very severe, it would be useful to be hospitalized and kept under observation. Avoiding sexual intercourse or using a condom until the infection is completely cured will prevent transmission to your partner.