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Past Chlamydia Infection of 2-3 Months
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Past Chlamydia Infection of 2-3 Months


Aged 17 I was diagnosed and successfully treated for chlamydia with a single dose of antibiotics. I was infected during my first sexual encounter so I am positive I only had the infection for between 2 - 3 months. I have not had any STI since then.

I am now 23 and worried about the lasting impact this infection will have had on my fertility. I know I had the infection for a relatively short period of time and that it did not develop into PID. I have also had no worrying symptoms since then. I have been to see a doctor about this but I was not given much information about the infection and was only told that she couldn't give me any indication if my fertility would be affected by this.

This has been playing on my mind for a long time now and I know there is no way to find out if my fertility has been affected until I start trying to get pregnant.

Could you please give me some information about my situation and if there is cause to be worried.

Thank you.
Welcome to the Forum. I will try to help.  While chlamydial infections are a leading preventable cause of infertility, that vast majority of women who get chlamydia (estimated to be over 3 million Americans last year alone) do not have this problem. The risk of such consequences goes down with more rapid diagnosis (as you had) and in the absence of clinical signs of pelvic inflammatory disease such as abdominal pain or unusual pain on intercourse.  Even most persons with PID do not become sterile in relation to their infection.  Certainly a tiny proportion of persons with asymptomatic infection can be infertile but this is quite rare.

For better or worse, until you are actively trying to get pregnant, there is no easy way to tell if you are one of the few who suffer this complication of infection. To try to do tests for chlamydia-related infertility have their own serious complications as well.  Rather my suggestion is for you to know that the odds are very much in your favor and to do your best not to worry unless you have been actively trying to become pregnant through unprotected intercourse for a year or more.

I hope these comments are helpful. EWH
Thank you for your quick reply.

Would it be possible to have developed PID from this episode of chlamydia 6 years ago and still not know about it to this day having not had any symptoms? Or would the antibiotics taken for the chlamydia infection have prevented PID from developing?

I am asking because from reading up online about the consequences of 'untreated chlamydia' I am very worried. I am scared that having not treated this infection until after 2-3 months it may have resulted in PID which I am unaware of. Am I right to be concerned about this?

Also, is it correct that only chlamydia that develops into PID has the potential to impact fertility?

I know it's impossible to say with any certainty the length of time it would take for chlamydia to cause any long term damage, but could you please give me some indication as to the risk of infertility after 2-3 months of infection. I am very worried.

Thank you very much for you help with putting my mind at rest.

Unfortunately, you are seeking assurances and worrying about things that neither you nor I have any control of.  You did not have untreated chlamydia, you were diagnosed and treated in an reasonable and not particularly prolonged time.  

Chlamydia can occasionally, but as I said before, not often cause so-called "silent" PD.  

As I said before, your risk of infertility is low.  Neither I nor anyone else can give you a precise estimate.  Please do not worry.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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