UK Flag menu arrow

Select your country

Track my results

Untreated Chlamydia: What Happens To You?

Untreated Chlamydia can lead to severe health complications. This sexually transmitted disease (STD) is asymptomatic, and thus infected persons do not treat it early enough. As a result, the infection develops and increases the risk of other STDs like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Here, you’ll learn what happens if chlamydia is left untreated in males and females. Also, you’ll learn the symptoms, prevention, chlamydia tests and possible treatment for chlamydia. Read on!

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infections. This STD affects both males and females, but it’s more common amongst teenagers and young adults. Chlamydia is an asymptomatic infection, and as a result, most people do not know when they are infected. Hence, they continue to spread the disease to their sexual partner(s). For this reason, it is essential to get regular STD screening if you are sexually active.

How is Chlamydia Transmitted?

Chlamydia is an STD contracted through unprotected anal, oral, or vaginal sex with an infected person. In addition, untreated chlamydia in a pregnant woman can be transmitted to the child during labour. Also, sharing sex toys is another way people spread the disease. You should note that a male can transmit chlamydia to his partner(s) even without ejaculating.

Who is at risk for chlamydia?

Individuals who are sexually active and do not practice safe anal, oral, or vaginal sex are at risk of infection. Chlamydia trachomatis is transmitted through genital secretions; thus, having sex without a condom or other appropriate barriers makes you susceptible to the disease. In addition, having multiple sex partners increase one’s risk of contracting chlamydia and other STDs. However, practising safe sex is an excellent way to prevent chlamydia, whether you have single or multiple partners.

Chlamydia treatment does not provide immunity; therefore, you can get reinfected. Having unprotected sex with a partner who is still undergoing chlamydia treatment increases your risk of infection. Also, homosexual men are at higher risk of anal and oral chlamydia than straight men.

Furthermore, individuals with pre-existing health conditions are more susceptible to chlamydia. People with other STDs, especially HIV, may contract chlamydia. This is because the practices exposing one to these STDs also predispose one to chlamydia.

There is also a condition among adolescent, and pregnant women called cervical ectopy. In this case, the cells of the cervical canal are found on the ectocervix. As a result, it increases the risk of chlamydia on the cervical tissues. Also, untreated chlamydia in pregnant women can increase the child’s susceptibility to infection. Chlamydia does not usually show symptoms; therefore, it is essential to know your STD status by taking regular chlamydia tests. Here’s how you test for chlamydia.

Untreated chlamydia in men and women: the health implications

Although an asymptomatic infection, chlamydia can cause severe complications if not diagnosed and treated early.

What happens if chlamydia is left untreated in males?

Untreated chlamydia in males causes the bacteria to infect the testes and epididymis (the duct that transports sperm from the testes), leading to pain and inflammation. As a result, this can affect male fertility. Another chlamydia complication in men is non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU), an infection that causes inflammation of the urethra. As a result, men experience frequent and painful urination.

In addition, untreated chlamydia can lead to proctitis, which causes inflammation of the rectal lining. Chlamydia can also cause reactive arthritis, which results in joint inflammation. However, you can manage this condition with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

What happens if chlamydia is left untreated in females?

Untreated chlamydia in females causes the bacteria C.trachomatis to migrate from the vagina to the uterus or fallopian tube, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Consequently, PID can result in ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, painful sex, and fertility problem.

Also, untreated chlamydia can be transmitted to the child during labour in pregnant women. This can result in conjunctivitis, ear infection, and pneumonia in the baby. Other complications in pregnant women include low birth weight babies, miscarriages, premature delivery and stillbirths.

Prevention and Treatment of Chlamydia?

To prevent chlamydia infection, you should stick to a single-sex partner. On the other hand, if you do have multiple partners, it is advisable to protect yourself by using condoms and dental dams. Also, as a sexually active person, whether you’re showing symptoms or not, you should take regular tests for chlamydia and other STDs to be conscious of your status.

If your chlamydia test result is positive, don’t panic, as there is a treatment for the infection. Chlamydia being a bacterial infection, can be treated with antibiotics. However, the treatment does not make you immune to the disease. Therefore, your can contract chlamydia again if you don’t practice safe sex.

Examples of antibiotics used to treat chlamydia include doxycycline and azithromycin. It is important to use the drugs as prescribed by your physician. Also, you should abstain from sex during treatment.


Chlamydia is an STD that does not usually show symptoms. As a result, the disease is not diagnosed and treated in time. Untreated chlamydia does not only increase the spread of the disease but can also lead to serious complications. Therefore, as a sexually active person, it is essential to take regular tests for chlamydia and other STDs.