The period of time it takes for complications to develop is not known, and will be different from person-to-person.
If you treat chlamydia and gonorrhea infections early, there are usually no other related health problems. However, delaying treatment or not treating STIs properly can lead to serious health complications.
Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can potentially cause the following complications:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the reproductive organs, including the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Because PID can damage the reproductive organs (and potentially cause infertility), it is important to seek health care quickly. To learn more about PID, click here.
- Epididymitis is when the epididymis is inflamed. The epididymis is a long, tightly coiled tube that lies above and behind each testicle. To learn more about epididymitis, click here.
- Infertility – challenges with getting pregnant.
- Ongoing pelvic pain, including painful periods.
- Ectopic pregnancy is when a pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus (usually in the fallopian tube). If left untreated, this can be life-threatening.
- Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune response, causing ongoing symptoms of urethritis, conjunctivitis and arthritis.
If you think you have an untreated STI, or are experiencing any symptoms, we would recommend seeing a health care professional. You can to go your regular family doctor, a walk-in clinic, or an STI clinic for these concerns. If you need help finding an STI clinic in your area, check out our ’Find a clinic’ tool.