Any infection can cause damage to your health, but some cause more damage than others.

Most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are completely curable. However, if left untreated, they can cause serious damage to your sexual and overall health.

Chlamydia, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, is easily curable with antibiotics but can also lead to serious health complications. It’s important to know what damage Chlamydia can do so you can take action to get it treated.

In this blog, we will explore the effects of untreated Chlamydia infections and explain why timely diagnosis and treatment are essential to maintaining your health and well-being.

The silent STI

Chlamydia is often called the “silent” STI because it can lurk in the body without any noticeable symptoms. This is one of the reasons it’s crucial to get regular STI screenings, especially if you’re sexually active.

The impact of untreated Chlamydia

Untreated Chlamydia can have a serious effect on the health of the person who has it, especially if it is left untreated for long periods.


Perhaps the most concerning consequence of untreated Chlamydia is its potential to cause infertility.

In women, Chlamydia can spread to the reproductive organs such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The bacteria can cause inflammation and scarring, affecting the woman’s ability to carry a pregnancy. This condition is called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is often accompanied by chronic abdominal and pelvic pain.

In men, Chlamydia can infect the testicles and epididymis (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles). This can cause pain and swelling in these areas, which can reduce sperm quality and quantity. This condition is called epididymitis. In rare cases, Chlamydia can also spread to other parts of the male reproductive system including the prostate gland.

Ectopic pregnancy

Chlamydia can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy by altering the production of a protein called PROKR2 in the fallopian tubes. This protein helps to regulate the implantation of an embryo in the uterus. When Chlamydia causes more PROKR2 to be produced, it makes it harder for an embryo to implant in the uterus and more likely for it to implant in the fallopian tube instead.

Increased risk of contracting HIV

Having Chlamydia can make you more susceptible to contracting HIV. The behaviours that make someone more likely to contract an STI mean they are more likely to contract an HIV infection.  Also, the inflammation caused by a Chlamydia infection can create openings in the mucous membranes in the genitals or rectum, allowing a viral infection to pass into the body more easily.

Transmission to partners

If left untreated, you can unknowingly pass Chlamydia to your sexual partners through unprotected sex, including unprotected vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex.

This is very easy to do, especially if your Chlamydia infection doesn’t cause any symptoms. This is why early testing and treatment are essential, not only for your health but also for the health of your partners.

Final thoughts

The good news is that Chlamydia is completely curable with antibiotics. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the potentially severe health complications mentioned earlier.

Remember, there’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking treatment for a sexually transmitted infection. Healthcare professionals are trained to provide compassionate, non-judgmental care. In fact, taking prompt action to protect your health and that of your partners is a responsible and admirable decision.

If you think you may have been exposed to Chlamydia or any other STI, you should get tested with Better2Know. Call the number at the top of this page to schedule an appointment at an STI clinic near you.

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