The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have reported that chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States, estimating that there were around four million infections in 2018.

Considering how common this STI really is, and of course not forgetting its renowned nickname as the ‘silent infection’, it’s important for us all to stay educated about chlamydia - including the potential complications and long-term effects that may occur if it goes untreated.

Some long-term health problems associated with untreated chlamydia include [1]:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Epididymo-orchitis

See also: What is Chlamydia?


If you think you may have contracted chlamydia, it’s important to get tested - this can be done with your local doctor or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s range of STI Tests detect some of the most common sexually transmitted infections with online results in just 5 days and access to our team of dedicated nurses who will answer any questions you may have. Plus, if you test positive, you will receive a prescription free of charge.



Does chlamydia cause long-term damage?


When chlamydia is detected early, it can be treated with a short course of antibiotics. If it goes unnoticed, it can result in long-term health problems.


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease


About 10-15% of women with untreated chlamydia will develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - an infection of one or more of the upper reproductive organs[2]. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy.


Infertility


If PID goes untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus and surrounding tissues which can lead to infertility in women [3].


Ectopic pregnancy


Chlamydia can cause inflammation in the fallopian tubes which can increase a woman’s risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself outside of the womb. While this usually occurs in the fallopian tube, it can occur in other parts of a woman’s body such as the ovary, abdominal cavity, or cervix. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for the pregnancy to proceed as normal.


Epididymo-orchitis


Epididymo-orchitis is the inflammation of the testicals. It typically consists of pain and swelling and is often the result of an untreated sexually transmitted infection in men [4].

See also: Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Men


Regular STD testing is crucial for ensuring yourself and your partner remain happy and healthy.

If you’re unable to make a trip to the doctor, LetsGetChecked’s range of STI Tests allow you to check for chlamydia, as well as a range of other common STIs, from the comfort of your own home.

You should consider taking a test if:

  • You become sexually active
  • You have had unprotected sex
  • You’re experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
  • You’re entering into a new sexual relationship
  • You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected (STIs can remain dormant for years and/ or take up to three weeks to become detectable.)

See also: How do You Check For Chlamydia From Home?



References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chlamydia - CDC Fact Sheet. Online: CDC.gov, 2016
  2. Mayo Clinic. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2020
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. STDs & Infertility. Online: CDC.gov, 2013
  4. HSE. Acute Epididymo-orchitis. Online: HSE.ie, 2019