The initial damage from a chlamydia infection often goes unnoticed. However, a chlamydia infection can lead to serious health problems.
Untreated chlamydia can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the ovaries to the uterus). This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID often has no symptoms, however some people may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesn’t cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to the reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus), and chronic pelvic pain.
People with external gonads rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent them from being able to have children. However, those with untreated chlamydia infections are vectors for infecting their sexual partners.
An untreated chlamydia infection may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV – the virus that causes AIDS.