In this modern age, doctors know so much more about feminine hygiene, vaginal and uterine health, pregnancy, and labor and delivery than they ever did in the hundred years before. That said, women die less from diseases, cancer, and labor and delivery than they did all those years ago, too. If you avoid seeing an OB/GYN regularly because you do not want someone poking around your lady parts, here are a few things you need to know about how poor gynecological health leads to fertility issues.
There are several STDs you can get from unprotected sex. However, the ones that are most responsible for an inability to conceive are chlamydia and gonorrhea. These two very common STDs can be detected and tested for during a pelvic exam, and then treated with antibiotics. If you are not going in to see an OB/GYN annually for a pelvic exam, you would not know that you have either of these STDs because they are almost always asymptomatic. The end result is the development of pelvic inflammatory disease, which is also typically asymptomatic. If you do experience symptoms, you are more likely to confuse the symptoms with cramps than with a disease that will leave you infertile.
Vaginal, Cervical, and Uterine Polyps
Polyps are fleshy appendages that can grow anywhere in the body. When these polyps grow inside the vagina, they make sex uncomfortable, even painful. They also block the path of sperm. Polyps on your cervix block sperm from entering the uterus. When there are polyps in the uterus, these prohibit eggs from attaching to the uterine wall and cause excess bleeding and cramps every month.
As a woman, you might excuse these discomforts in a number of ways (e.g., "I am always a heavy menstrual bleeder," "I always get really bad cramps," "My vagina is too small for my partner's penis," etc., etc.). The truly sad part is that these polyps can quickly switch from benign growths to cancer if they are not caught and diagnosed early. Since chemo and radiation kills off your ability to produce viable eggs, you have ultimately made yourself infertile by choice.
Uterine prolapses are uncommon in young women, unless these women have numerous and frequent sex partners. Exercises designed to repair and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles can prevent your uterus from falling out of your vagina, which is a very scary occurrence indeed. A prolapsing uterus would make it extremely difficult to conceive and carry a baby to term.
The obstetric field of doctors recommends that all women, even young women and those in a monogamous relationship, practice these exercises to develop a strong vagina and prepare your feminine reproductive organs for childbirth. Even if you never have a child, it is good to keep these muscles in shape. An OBGYN would provide you with instructions on how to perform them.