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"Does chlamydia damage one's fallopian tubes?"
I'm a 24 yr old woman and I've been fighting off chlamydia for a few weeks. But it was bothering me for weeks before I got diagnosed. Now I'm worried that letting it go for that long could have damaged my fallopian tubes. Is that possible? How can I test to make sure they're still healthy?
Treating an infection like chlamydia and issues related to female infertility are questions best addressed by an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN). Depending on the circumstances, OB/GYN specialists in reproductive endocrinology and infertility may also become involved. Infections that affect the cervix, such as chlamydia, can also travel to other parts of the female reproductive tract, including the fallopian tubes. This is called pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. PID is a problem because the fallopian tubes serve as the conduit through which a fertilized egg travels from the ovary after fertilization to the uterus for implantation and progression of a pregnancy. Following an infection, it is possible for the fallopian tube to become scarred so that this process can no longer happen. This leads to decreased fertility or even infertility. If a woman and her partner are having trouble conceiving, there is a test that can be used to evaluate whether the fallopian tubes are still open or whether scarring and closure has occurred. This test is called a hysterosalpingogram. During the procedure, a small probe is inserted into the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus. Radioopaque dye is then injected through the probe into the uterus and an Xray image is obtained. Because the dye can be seen on x-ray imaging, it is possible to evaluate whether or not the dye is able to leave the uterus through open fallopian tubes. Managing chlamydia infections and PID is best done through follow up care with an OB/GYN. As with any infection, it is very important to take all prescribed antibiotics for a chlamydia infection and follow safe sex practices to prevent re-infection.
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