Chlamydia is a major cause of infertility worldwide. Since the disease often causes no clear symptoms, it makes diagnosis rather difficult. In fact, many of the infected individuals do not even know that they have chlamydia. If chlamydia is not treated and is allowed to evolve, the bacteria might cause great damage to the reproductive systems for men and women. In such cases, one of the outcomes is infertility.
Chlamydia and Infertility
Infertility means that a person is sterile, i.e he/she loses the ability to have children. This complication from chlamydia affects women and men with similar frequency. Although there are many other factors other than chlamydia that may cause infertility (for example, obesity or genetics), chlamydia-caused infertility is on the rise. One of the main reasons is that chlamydia is very common among teenagers and young adults, who very often test themselves too late, giving a greater risk of irreversible damage to the reproductive system.
Infertility in Women
If chlamydia infection develops untreated for too long, it can spread to other parts of the female reproductive system. In particular, if the uterus and fallopian tubes are affected, it may result in pelvic inflammation/pelvic infection. This is very dangerous, as the infection can develop further, without any symptoms. If untreated, it may eventually cause scars and blockage of fallopian tubes, resulting in infertility.
When a woman conceives, the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube, before it moves into the uterus, where it adheres to the wall of the uterus (it is called implantation). An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg attaches itself outside the uterus, e.g. in one of the fallopian tubes (with the common reason being that fallopian tube is blocked). This often occurs when chlamydia-caused pelvic inflammation is untreated for so long that it damages the fallopian tube which becomes blocked. In some cases, chlamydia bacteria cause several small scars in the fallopian tube, and this often goes unnoticed. If the egg attaches itself outside the uterus, it is necessary with immediate surgery to remove the egg. Ectopic pregnancy is actually very dangerous and can lead to internal bleeding with potentially fatal results.
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
The symptoms are very different and can also be signs of other diseases. The most common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are as follow:
- Delayed bleeding
- Bleeding of the vagina (discharge that is brownish. Can coincide with menstruation)
- Pelvic pain
- Positive pregnancy test
If you are pregnant feel vibrant palpitations or pounding sensation in the pelvic area, or feel a sudden pain, see your doctor as soon as possible. If you suspect that you have chlamydia, it is strongly recommended to take a chlamydia test.