Do Bacterial Infections Make It Harder to Conceive?

Do Bacterial Infections Make It Harder to Conceive?
Do Bacterial Infections Make It Harder to Conceive?

By Suzannah Weiss. Photos: Getty Images.

Whitney Port is now in the third trimester of her first pregnancy, and she's been refreshingly honest about the anxiety and discomfort that come along with the excitement of becoming a mom. One aspect of her journey that was not entirely smooth-sailing was finding out she and her husband Tim Rosenman might have trouble conceiving.

"This might be TMI, but whatever," she wrote in a blog post for People. "On our honeymoon to Fiji, we both got bacterial infections. Tim’s was on his foot and super gross, but no big deal. Mine was a pelvic infection and causing me a lot of pain. We got home and I went to my doctor, who put me on antibiotics immediately. The infection cleared up, but my doctor seemed concerned that this could have an effect on me getting pregnant down the road. I don’t know about you guys, but any slightly scary news from a doctor can send me into a spiral."

About a year later, when they wanted to start a family, she was afraid it might take a while. She lucked out and got pregnant quickly, but according to women's health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., her doctor's warning wasn't totally unfounded.

We don't know the specifics of Port's condition, but typically, pelvic infections come from bacteria that enters the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes through the vagina or cervix. This bacteria often comes from STIs or bacterial vaginosis. You can treat these infections with antibiotics like Port did, but if left untreated, they can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which in turn may cause fallopian tube scarring that makes conception harder.

So, it's important to talk to your doctor if you notice any symptoms of pelvic infections, which include vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain during sex or peeing. A pelvic infection probably won't cause lasting damage, but it's still smart to nip it in the bud.

This story originally appeared on Glamour.

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