Involuntary infertility often can be prevented. Providers can:

  • Counsel clients about STI prevention (see the section on Avoiding STIs in Chapter 22 — Sexually Transmitted Infections, Including HIV, Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections). Encourage clients to seek treatment as soon as they think they might have an STI or might have been exposed.
  • Treat or refer clients with signs and symptoms of STIs and clinical PID (see Sexually Transmitted Infections, Including HIV, Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Infections). Treating these infections can help to prevent infertility.
  • Avoid causing infection by following proper infection-prevention practices when performing medical procedures that pass instruments from the vagina into the uterus, such as IUD insertion(see Infection Prevention in the Clinic, in Chapter 26 – Family Planning Provision).
  • Treat or refer clients with signs or symptoms of infection postpartum or postabortion.
  • Help clients with fertility problems become aware of risks to fertility— not only infections but also lifestyle and environmental factors.
  • Counsel clients about available options for their future childbearing—that is, fertility preservation techniques such as sperm freezing for men and in vitro fertilization or freezing eggs—if they are being treated or are having surgery for cancer or other diseases that may affect reproductive tissues or organs.