Clamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection, and it can cause fertility problems. Up to 70 per cent of women with it have no symptoms so they don't know they've been infected and aren't treated.
You'll be tested for chlamydia infection as part of your primary investigations because the condition can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). One episode of PID has a ten per cent chance of causing blockage of the Fallopian tubes, with the risk rising to 50 per cent after three episodes.
The incidence of PID can be reduced by the following:
- selective screening of high-risk women for cervical chlamydia infection, which can be done with a smear test
- screening of all women aged 25 years or younger, and women who have had two or more partners in the last year, as they make up nearly 90 per cent of infections
- any infertility test involving an instrument being inserted into the uterus can aggravate a cervical infection, so this shouldn't be done without first checking for chlamydia.
Testing for chlamydia infection includes a blood antibody test, cervical swabs for culture, and DNA tests on urine. Sexual partners must be told, assessed, and treated as chlamydia may play a part in male infertility too.
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