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Sexual Conditions Health Center

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What Happens If I Don't Get My ChalmydiaTreated?

If you do not get treated for chlamydia, you run the risk of several health problems.

  • For women. If left untreated, chlamydia infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to damage of the fallopian tubes (the tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus) or even cause infertility (the inability to have children). Untreated chlamydia infection could also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg implants and develops outside the uterus.) Furthermore, chlamydia may cause premature births (giving birth too early) and the infection can be passed along from the mother to her child during childbirth, causing an eye infection, blindness, or pneumonia in the newborn.
  • For men. Chlamydia can cause a condition called nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) -- an infection of the urethra (the tube by which men and women pass urine), epididymitis -- an infection of the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm away from the testes), or proctitis -- an inflammation of the rectum.

How Can I Prevent a Chlamydia Infection?

To reduce your risk of a chlamydia infection:

  • Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
  • Limit the number of sex partners, and do not go back and forth between partners.
  • Practice sexual abstinence, or limit sexual contact to one uninfected partner.
  • If you think you are infected, avoid sexual contact and see a doctor.

Any genital symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination or an unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex and to consult a doctor immediately. If you are told you have chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted disease and receive treatment, you should notify all of your recent sex partners so that they can see a doctor and be treated.

Because chlamydia often occurs without symptoms, people who are infected may unknowingly infect their sex partners. Many doctors recommend that all persons who have more than one sex partner should be tested for chlamydia regularly, even in the absence of symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on November 19, 2015
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