Diseases of the Reproductive System

Reproductive System Diseases

Reproductive system diseases consist of any condition that makes it difficult or impossible to reproduce. There are many reasons why this may happen.

Cause: Infections, genetic diseases, birth defects, hormonal disorders, impotence, or infertility can prevent men and women from being able to have children.

Symptoms: The main symptom for these diseases is difficulty getting pregnant, or making a woman pregnant. 

Treatment: Sometimes antibiotics can clear up infections that damage the reproductive tract, but the damage done by some diseases may be permanent.  Men and women may take fertility treatments to help them to reproduce.  Another option is in vitro fertilization, where the egg and sperm are grown in the laboratory and later implanted into the womb.  Multiple births may occur from these treatments. 

Reproductive Tract Infections

Reproductive tract infections happen when a bacteria, virus, or fungus infect the reproductive tract.

Cause: Some infections occur sporadically from something simple like a change in diet, as is the case with yeast infections.  Other infections can be transmitted through sexual contact with other people.  These are called sexually transmitted diseases.

Symptoms: The main symptoms are itchiness or discomfort in the genitals and surrounding area. 

Treatment: Many infections can be cured with antibiotics or anti-fungal drugs.  However, most viral infections do not go away completely, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes.  Anti-viral therapies can lessen symptoms and reduce the incidence of outbreaks.