The Health Complications of Untreated Chlamydia

Aarohi Batra
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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untreated chlamydia

Chlamydia is a prevalent Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and affects millions of people worldwide.

According to WHO, Chlamydia is a curable STD and can be effectively treated with antibiotics.

However, if left without treatment, it may lead to severe health problems, such as infertility and increased risks of HIV.

Therefore, learning about untreated Chlamydia is essential for its proper treatment and management.

This article will help you gain a complete insight into the various complications associated with Chlamydia without treatment.

So, let’s learn in detail. 

How long can Chlamydia go undiagnosed

The symptoms of Chlamydia may appear within two weeks after getting infected or may be asymptomatic (without symptoms) in many cases.

Moreover, a person may have the infection for weeks, months, or even years without knowing it.

Thus, it can be assumed that Chlamydia may stay for a longer duration in your body without being diagnosed.

Warning:
Delaying testing and treatment of Chlamydia may worsen the condition. Consult a healthcare practitioner and seek prompt medical treatment to avoid complications.

What are the complications of untreated Chlamydia

Chlamydia without treatment may lead to the following health problems in people:

Infertility

Chlamydia Trachomatis is recognized as a culprit for infertility in women.

Infection with Chlamydia can cause adhesions and tubal obstructions and is recognized to lead to tubal infertility in women.

Further, Chlamydia without treatment may also reduce male fertility by damaging sperm and affecting the sperm parameters.

Ectopic pregnancy

UTIs in women are considered complicated if they are pregnantSource: tatyana_tomsickova from Getty Images
Pregnant woman

Chlamydia without treatment can lead to inflammation in tubes and other reproductive organs.

Thus, it can also increase the risks of ectopic pregnancy in women.

Fact:
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an egg (fertilized) implants and grows outside the main uterus cavity.

Prematurity

A baby born before thirty-seven weeks is considered premature and is referred to as prematurity.

Chlamydial infection during pregnancy may lead to the premature rupture of the membrane and cause prematurity.

It may also lead to the following complications:

  • Low birth weight of child
  • Perinatal mortality (death of a baby between 28 weeks of gestation and before the first 7 days of life)
  • Neonatal conjunctival (red eye in infants due to infection or inflammation)
  • Respiratory infection

Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases

The Chlamydial infection can spread to the fallopian tube or uterus and can increase the risks of Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PIDs).

It may cause lower abdominal and pelvic pain.

Swollen joints

Joint pain - Weak bone and muscleSource: SasinParaksa_from_Getty_Images
Joint pain

Infection with Chlamydia can lead to the development of Reactive Arthritis.

Reactive Arthritis is an inflammatory Arthritis that occurs due to a gastrointestinal or genitourinary infection.

Epididymitis

Chlamydia may cause Epididymitis in men.

It occurs when the bacteria infects the testicles and epididymis (a duct that carries sperm).

It may lead to tenderness in the testicles, swelling, and pain.

Recommended Article
Read “Antibiotics for Chlamydia: Exploring Treatment Options” to get complete knowledge about its effective treatment.

Urethritis

Chlamydia is the most common cause of nongonococcal (caused by pathogens other than Gonorrhea) Urethritis in people.

Urethritis is the inflammation of the urethra.

Orchitis

Orchitis can be defined as inflammation of one or both testicles.

It is caused due to bacterial infections, such as Chlamydia.

High risks of HIV

Untreated Chlamydia can increase the risk of getting or transmitting Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Without proper treatment, HIV can progress to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can get fatal.

Therefore, it is recommended to seek prompt medical attention and treatment to prevent the progression of your STDs.

Conclusion

Chlamydia is a prevalent STD that affects millions of people worldwide.

Generally, Chlamydia is asymptomatic but can show common symptoms within two weeks after getting an infection.

It can stay in your body for months and even years without treatment. But untreated Chlamydia may lead to serious health problems in people.

It can cause infertility in men by affecting sperm parameters and in women by causing tubal obstructions.

Further, Chlamydia without treatment can lead to ectopic pregnancy in women and pregnancy complications, such as prematurity.

Some other complications of Chlamydia without treatment are PID, Reactive Arthritis, Epididymitis, Urethritis, and Orchitis.

It can also increase the risks of the development of HIV in people.

Thus, it is recommended to consult a healthcare practitioner and seek prompt medical treatment to prevent the health problems associated with Chlamydia.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if Chlamydia is left untreated?

If Chlamydia is left without treatment, it can affect the reproductive system of men and women and lead to infertility. In women, untreated Chlamydia can lead to ectopic pregnancy and complications, such as prematurity. In men, it can cause Epididymitis and Orchitis. 

How long will Chlamydia last untreated?

Chlamydia can last without diagnosis and treatment for weeks, months, and years. Generally, Chlamydia is asymptomatic. However, in some cases, the symptoms of Chlamydia may appear within two weeks after getting an infection.

Can untreated Chlamydia cause any health problems in women?

Yes, Chlamydia may cause many health problems in women without treatment. It can lead to infertility in women by affecting the reproductive system. Also, it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases after spreading to the fallopian tube or uterus. It can also cause ectopic pregnancy and prematurity in women. 

What are the health complications of untreated Chlamydia?

Chlamydia without treatment may cause several health problems in people. It can damage the reproductive organs and lead to infertility in some people. Further, in men, it can lead to Epididymis and Orchitis. It can also cause Urethritis and Reactive Arthritis and increase the risks of HIV.

Citations:
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