Sexually transmitted infections: impact on male fertility

Andrologia. 2008 Apr;40(2):72-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2007.00825.x.


The impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) on male fertility is strongly dependent on the local prevalence of the STDs. In Western countries STD-infections are of minor relevance. In other regions, i.e. Africa or South East Asia, the situation appears to be different. Acute urethritis could not be associated with male infertility. Chronic infections (gonorrhoea) can cause urethral strictures and epididymo-orchitis. Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoea can be transmitted to the female partner and cause pelvic inflammatory disease with tubal obstruction. Ureaplasma urealyticum may impair spermatozoa (motility, DNA condensation). Trichomonas vaginalis has, if any, only minor influence on male fertility. The relevance of viral infections (HPV, HSV) for male infertility is not resolved. Any STD increases the chances of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The HIV infection is associated with infectious semen and the risk of virus transmission. Semen quality deteriorates with the progression of immunodeficiency. Special counselling of serodiscordant couples is needed. STDs should be treated early and adequately to prevent late sequelae for both men and women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / complications*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / complications*