Chlamydia and male fertility

Chlamydia has been previously been associated with women’s infertility, the infection spreading to the uterus or Fallopian tubes and resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause scarring and damage, however there isn’t as much known about the effects it may have on male infertility.

New research has found that undiagnosed STIs in males can also have a large negative impact on their fertility. A study from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) examined the testicular tissue from biopsies in men who had no identified cause of infertility. The researchers found that antibodies specific to bacteria, chlamydia trachomatis was found in close to 70% of the cases.

The men who underwent the biopsies were shown to produce little or no sperm and were considered to have moderate to severe infertility with no defining cause. Although it can’t be confirmed that the presence of chlamydia was the cause of the infertility in the men, it has been a significant finding.

The research leader, Professor Ken Beagley from QUT said that during animal studies, it was revealed that the chlamydia infection established a chronic infection in the tests of male mice and will result in impaired normal sperm development.

Many people with a chlamydia infection will have no symptoms, which means they can unknowingly pass it from one unsuspecting sexual partner to another. As most of the cases aren’t diagnosed straight away, there is the potential for the infections to impact the development of the sperm in the testes.

Testing for chlamydia usually involves a urine test and is routinely tested for at Fertility First in both men and women before they begin their fertility treatment. For more information contact our clinic on (02) 9586 3311.