What happens if gonorrhea is not treated?

Gonorrhea that is not treated can cause these serious problems in women:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is an infection of a woman's reproductive organs above the cervix, such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Untreated gonorrhea is a common cause of PID. PID can lead to infertility, pregnancy problems, and pelvic pain. Some women have no symptoms of PID, and the damage caused by PID cannot be fixed. This is why finding out about and treating gonorrhea is so important. Widespread infection to other parts of the body, like the blood, joints, or heart. Increased risk of getting HIV or spreading HIV.

This answer is based on source material from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Angela Lowery
Family Medicine

If gonorrhea is left untreated it can cause infertility in men and women. In women gonorrhea can spread to the female reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease which can result in scarring. Women can also spread this disease to their unborn babies during the birthing process causing babies to develop blindness, infections and sores on the scalp. In men, untreated gonorrhea can cause inflammation in the testicles where the sperm ducts are located leading to infertility.

Untreated gonorrhea also leads to infections that spread to joints and other parts of the body. Gonorrhea can increase a person's risk of developing HIV/AIDS.

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