Herpes can potentially affect fertility in both men and women. Still, the impact on fertility depends on several factors, including the type of herpes, the severity of the infection, and the individual’s overall health.
In women, genital herpes can increase the risk of infertility by damaging the fallopian tubes, which are the tubes that transport eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Herpes outbreaks can also increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause damage to the reproductive organs and lead to infertility.
In men, genital herpes can cause inflammation of the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. This inflammation can result in scarring and blockages that can affect fertility. Additionally, herpes outbreaks in men can increase the risk of transmitting the virus to a sexual partner, which can increase the risk of infertility in both partners.
It is important to note that not everyone with herpes will experience fertility problems, and many people with herpes can have healthy, successful pregnancies. However, individuals with herpes should talk to their healthcare provider about the potential impact of herpes on fertility and receive regular gynaecological and urologic care as needed. To reduce the risk of transmission to a sexual partner and to prevent complications, it is also essential to practice safe sex and to use barrier methods, such as condoms, during sexual activity.