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Before Infertility Evaluation, Take Azithromycin

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | 0 comments

Photo byBefore Infertility Evaluation, Take Azithromycin alitaylor
Before you consult an infertility doctor to help you become pregnant, ask your doctor if you should be given antibiotics to treat a group of germs called mycoplasma.

A recent report from Germany (1) confirms many other studies (2,3,4) showing that the most common cause of infertility is a uterine infection. Of women being evaluated for infertility, 40% between the ages of 26 and 35 were infected with chlamydia or other mycoplasma, as were 36% of those with a previous history of uterine infection and 50% of those with tubal blockage. In another study more than 60% had evidence of a past infection. (5)

These infections cause both male and female infertility. The uterus is shaped like a bull's head with two horns. The ovaries are located outside of the uterus at the tip of each horn. An egg travels from the uterus down into the horn and then into the body of the uterus itself. Small hairs called cilia sweep the egg down the tubes into the body of the uterus. A past infection with mycoplasma can damage the cilia (4) so the egg remains in the horn or an infection can block the tubes so the egg can't even reach the body of the uterus.

Mycoplasma can cause male infertility by damaging sperm so they are unable to swim toward the egg and fertilize it. Men and women can be infected with mycoplasma. even though all available tests can't find it (5,6) and they may have no symptoms at all. They may have burning on urination, discomfort when the bladder is full or an urgency to void. Women may have only spotting between periods. (7)

Treatment with the newer erythromycins, clarithromycin and azithromycin, can cure mycoplasma infections and help many women to become pregnant before they spend thousands of dollars on infertility evaluations.

Azithromycin is commonly known as a "Z-pack" and is a 5-day course of antibiotics. The generic is about $5.



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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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