If I have chlamydia and am being treated for it, will I get PID and not be able to have children?
Your situation may not be a picture of complete doom and gloom. But before I elaborate, let’s talk a little about chlamydial infection and its potential complications. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a bacterial infection. It is the most common bacterial STD in the U.S. and it’s an enormous problem among sexually active teenagers and young adults.
Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics, but when it’s not treated, the infection can spread to the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries. The inflammation that results is called PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease, which has become a leading cause of infertility in this country. About a third of women who catch a chlamydial infection will develop PID.
The dangerous thing about chlamydia is that up to 80% of women who get it have no symptoms to tell them they’ve been infected. This is why young women who are sexually active, particularly those who have multiple partners, should have regular screenings for chlamydia and other STD’s.
As long as your infection was detected relatively early, the chlamydia can be wiped out with antibiotic treatment and your risk of developing PID or fertility problems is remote. Be sure to take all the medication, exactly as prescribed, and to go back for the recommended follow-up exam. This is important because antibiotics sometimes fail to eliminate the infection completely and a second course of antibiotics will be necessary. A third round of antibiotics is rarely needed.
Until you complete your medication, you should refrain from having sex, since you can still spread the infection. As hard as it may be, you must tell your sexual partner that you’re being treated for chlamydia and may have passed the disease on to them. The chlamydial infection can spread to the throat or rectum through oral or anal sex, so you should hold off on all forms of sex until you and your partner have finished your medications. The typical course of antibiotics is about a week.