When we speak of Chlamydia, we usually think of a disease that is brutal and painful. However, Chlamydia is actually a type of STD or sexually transmitted disease that causes only mild symptoms or even asymptomatic reactions once transmitted. This is in fact the most common STD in the United States with an estimate of 2.8 million reported cases every year according to the Center for Disease Control. However, despite being a common and widespread STD, a lot of us still no very little about this particular infection. Only a few are even aware that Chlamydia can actually cause infertility in the long run. But the real issue is; how long does it take before Chlamydia causes infertility?
Before answering the question, let us first state some facts about Chlamydia. Chlamydia is a condition that is caused by a bacterium known as Chlamydia trachomatis. This type of pathogen can be transmitted through anal, vaginal or even oral sex. In addition to this, the bacteria Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected pregnant mother to her baby during childbirth or delivery. Any person, especially those that are sexually active, can acquire this type of disease. Aside from this, the greater the number of sexual partners we have, the greater the risk we also have of infection.
There are actually many symptoms or side effects of Chlamydia in humans once infected aside from becoming infertile. However, three-fourths of women and half of men that are infected are actually considered asymptomatic or do not show any signs or symptoms of the disease. This is actually one of the main reasons why it is the most widespread STD since it bears no sign of infection. Nevertheless, symptoms can still occur in some cases. This will usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after becoming exposed to the bacteria. This can cause burning urination or abnormal vaginal discharges for women. This can also spread to the cervix as well as in the uterus and the fallopian tubes of women. Because of this, lower abdominal pain is possible along with low back pain, fever, nausea, painful intercourse as well as bleeding in between periods.
Once this disease is not treated immediately, it can actually become more severe and complicated. A simple Chlamydia that started in the vagina can lead to PID or pelvic inflammatory disease. This is a type of infection that already affects the different organs in the pelvic area of women. Once this occurs, the fallopian tubes as well as the ovaries can be affected causing the condition known as hydrosalpinx or the blocking of the end portion of the tubes. If this is already the case, then there would be a problem for the egg cell to travel all the way to the uterus for ovulation. This also puts women at high risk for ectopic pregnancy.
This is how serious Chlamydia is. Nevertheless, the transition from a simple STD infection to PID can take at least 2 years to happen. This means that infected individuals can still have time in order to treat the STD condition before it can develop to something worse like infertility.