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Chlamydia is one of the most widespread and common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. Each year, except in 1984, the number of cases diagnosed has increased steadily as more men and women are having unprotected sex and not using condoms

Chlamydia Infertility in Women and Men

The rise in diagnosis can also be attributed to better evaluation and screening methods and because of an improvement in the reporting system.  While Chlamydia is a silent disease, people wonder can Chlamydia cause infertility in women and men, and the answer is yes.

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In females, untreated Chlamydia infection can spread from the vagina and into the uterus and fallopian tubes.  The results of untreated Chlamydia on a woman can mean pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which occurs in up to 40% of females, and can cause permanent damage to the uterus, uterine tissues and fallopian tubes.  The damage caused by untreated Chlamydia can lead to constant pelvic pain, infertility and make a woman more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy.

Men may also be like women in the fact that Chlamydia will cause no outward symptoms, but there can be problems related to the disease, which include:

  • Burning sensation when urinating (in women and men both)
  • Painful intercourse (in men and women both)
  • Unusual discharge from the tip of the penis
  • Swollen or tender testicles
  • Fever


The reason Chlamydia can cause infertility in men is something that is not completely understood.  It is believed that once the STD spreads to the testicles, it can cause swelling called epdidymitis and could affect sperm motility and lead to infertility.  If left untreated in males, Chlamydia once spread to the testicles can render a male infertile within 6-8 weeks and can also cause other serious problems for male such as prostatisis (inflammation of the prostate) and Reiter’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.

How is Chlamydia Treated?

Once Chlamydia has been diagnosed through a medical test, a physician can begin to treat the disease and heal the person.  Chlamydia can only be cured effectively through prescription antibiotic medications.  Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined the following drug protocol for treating the infection:

  • Azithromycin: 1 g orally as a single dosage
  • Doxycycline: 100 mg two times daily for 7-14 days
  • Tetracycline
  • Erythromycin


Any future partners a man or woman has should be evaluated, tested and treated (if necessary) and a person should abstain from sexual intercourse, until the infection has cleared up.  Having multiple infections increases the chances a man or woman could experience serious reproductive health issues, including infertility.  The CDC recommends that men and women that have contracted Chlamydia be retested every 3-4 months in order to make sure the person has not been infected again.  Without following the above mentioned advice, the answer to the question can Chlamydia cause infertility in women and men, is undoubtedly yes.

Overview

With careful sexual habits and regular use of condoms, men and women can avoid contracting Chlamydia.  Through careful selection of sexual partners and not engaging in promiscuous behavior, men and women decrease their chances of developing any type of STD.  Always practice safe sex and in a case an STD is suspected, the best thing a person can do is get to a physician to be tested and treated in the quickest and most effective way possible in order to avoid long-term complications and infertility. 

  • www.avert.org/stdstatisticusa.htm
  • www.cdc.gov/std/Chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm#complications
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlamydia_infection#Genital_disease

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