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What are the long-term health risks of gonorrhea?

Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious complications in women and men. In women it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can lead to infertility, long-term pelvic and abdominal pain or an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus). In men, untreated gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes inside the testicles, which can lead to infertility (although this is rare). In both men and women gonorrhea can spread to the blood and joints, causing severe illness.
Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine

Estimates vary, but 10 to 30% of untreated gonorrhea infections in women will go on to cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Gonorrhea and chlamydia are the primary causes of all PID. PID causes scarring and blockage of fallopian tubes, causing an estimated 100,000 women annually to become infertile.

PID scarring can also cause ectopic or tubal pregnancies (pregnancy occurring outside the uterus), which is potentially life threatening. PID can lead to chronic pelvic pain.

Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs

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Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.