Infections, particularly chlamydia, mycoplasma and ureaplasma, can last and recur for years. Such infections make it unsuitable for the embryos to implant or the pregnancy to continue.
Infections, especially long lasting ones, can agitate your immune system and make it over-reactive i.e. by increasing your natural cell and other immune components’ activity. The latter will make the environment in the uterus hostile towards the embryos and the pregnancy. If the infection is enclosed in blocked tubes, they can cause hydrosalpinx, which means that the tube contains potentially infectious fluid. This reduces the chance of success by about 50%. In this case we prefer to remove or block the tube with the hydrosalpinx by laparoscopy.
There are also other less obvious infections, which can adversely affect your chances of getting pregnant. We can do screening tests for such infections:
- Vaginal Swab: for bacterial vaginosis, gardenerella vaginalis, mycoplasma and ureaplasma. We also now offer more sophisticated Chlamydia testing using a special technique known as ELISA.
- Male screening: Detailed and accurate testing for possible infections that may have an impact on fertility is now offered to all male patients. The tests include chalmydia, mycoplasma, ureaplasma and others.
- Semen for Chlamydia: This test could be considered in certain cases.
Any infection is treated thoroughly by a combination of antibiotics. Retesting would be required in 3-6 weeks (based on the type and site of the infection) to confirm successful treatment.
NB. We do not recommend the testing of menstrual blood for chlamydia using PCR technique (called the hidden C test by the patients). We have investigated this matter extensively, but there is currently no evidence for the value of this test. Furthermore, all UK based laboratories have indicated that this test is not under their consideration due to the lack of evidence, as well as the difficulty in achieving quality control that is acceptable for UK patients.