If there wasn’t already enough reason to practice safe sex consistently, we have recently been reminded that there is a natural weakness in female immunity as ovulation occurs, more than at any other time throughout the menstrual cycle. This is thought to occur in order to allow sperm to survive a potential immune response once inside the body of the female and go on to fertilise an egg. According to a recent study, this has the potential to make women more susceptible to a sexually transmitted infection while ovulating.
A study was carried out at the Laboratorio de Inmunobiologia Moleculare at the hospital Gregario Maranon and Complutense University, Madrid, and the team used mice for the purposes of the study. They found that estradiol, a sex hormone, which is mostly made in the ovaries and the placenta (in pregnancy) decreased the immune response in female mice leaving them more exposed to potential infections including yeast infections and sexually transmitted bacteria and viruses.
Since the mice were only tested using candida albicans (the cause of yeast infection), this is not enough proof to suggest that women would be more susceptible to all sexually transmitted infections during ovulation and so further investigations will be carried out in this area although the scientists behind the study are confident that their finding will translate to other infections.