What Is The Effect Of Staphylococcus On Fertility?

What Is The Effect Of Staphylococcus On Fertility?

Staphylococcal infection has become one of the most common causes of infertility in both males and females. Here is all you need to know about it and it's prevention.

Infertility can put a strain on any marriage especially when couples reach that point where desperation is setting in. There are a lot of factors that cause infertility in both male and female patients, but bacterial infection (like Staphylococcus) in the reproductive system is one of the most common factors around. Staphylococcus grow in pairs and groups, and hardly in short chains. Additionally, staphylococcus causes skin infections like wound infections and scalded skin, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection. But can staphylococcus cause infertility? This article will focus on answering that question.

What is staphylococcus?

can staphylococcus cause infertility

Staphylococcus mostly referred to as "staph,'' is a bacteria that grows in groups. And in different tissues of the body, it can cause a lot of problems, some mild and some serious. Staph got its name from the Greek word staphyle, which means a bunch of grapes. And the other half of the name comes from another Greek word kokkos, which means berry. Now combine these and you begin to see why staph was named just so. Under a microscope, staph takes the shape of grapes in a bunch or round berries.

Additionally, while there are over thirty different kinds of staph, the one that causes the most infection in humans is named staph aureus. Interestingly, staph doesn't cause any problems most of the time even when it lives in the body. But the bacteria becomes dangerous when there is any cut to the skin. The cut allows the bacteria to escape the protective barrier the body has put up against it.

Can staphylococcus cause infertility?

Staph in relation to infertility is attracting more attention in the medical world lately. But there has been nothing concrete so far, unlike in the case of Chlamydia whose influence in the cause of infertility is conclusive.

In the case of staph, the fact that nothing has been made conclusive doesn't mean there hasn't been research pointing to the impact of staph in infertility. Some studies have shown staph to be closely related to infertility. According to Momoh et al, the presence of staph aureus stands at 38.7% from a sample of vaginal discharge. Likewise, another study revealed staph aureus as the most frequent vaginal pathogen among infertile women, with a 57.33% presence.

Furthermore, males who suffer from infertility, it has been found that staph sp. was present in their genitourinary system. A study by the University of Benin in which 140 sperm samples were collected, showed the presence of staph aureus (28.3%) and S. saprophyticus (13.0%). These two pathogens are known to affect the movement of sperm, and not in a good way. Finally, though the studies are yet to be as conclusive as in the case of Chlamydia, there is evidence pointing to the fact that staph can be a factor in both male and female infertility.

Symptoms of staphylococcus

can staphylococcus cause infertility

The symptoms of staph depend on the form it takes. There are symptoms for skin infections, food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, septic arthritis.

      Skin infections

  • Boils with pus
  • A painful rash with blisters sometimes
  • Sores, skin redness, and swelling
  • Burn-like surfaces in children and babies

       Food poisoning

  • Dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

      Toxic shock syndrome

  • Muscle pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Rash on soles and palms

       Septic arthritis

  • Fever
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Serious joint pain

Causes of staphylococcus

can staphylococcus cause infertility

Most people move around with the bacteria without symptoms of any infection. As a result, when the infection shows itself, it is almost always from a bacteria that's been in the body before that time. Staph bacteria are very tough and can survive the most extreme conditions. They can even live in objects like a bed, blanket, and pillowcases. They just sit there waiting for someone to carry them.

Prevention of staphylococcus

  • Wash your hands always and dry them with a clean towel. And if your hands are very dirty, use a hand sanitizer.
  • Make sure you keep your wounds covered until they heal. This will help stop an infection that might occur due to pus coming out of the wound. Use clean and dry bandages.
  • In addition, change tampons frequently as it can be a breeding ground for staphylococcus bacteria.
  • Do not share personal items like razors, towels, and clothes. Staph bacteria live in objects.
  • Also, wash your bedsheets and pillowcases in hot water to kill bacteria.
  • Whenever you're about to handle food, wash your hands first.


If you notice any skin infection moving through the family, please contact your doctor immediately. Also, if your baby is having red and irritated skin or pus-filled blisters, contact your doctor with the same urgency.

Read more: US Study Reveals How Compound In Breast Milk Fights Harmful Bacteria

Source: Mayo Clinic

Written by

Lydia Ume