Untreated STD can be very dangerous, as some STDs can lead to permanent loss of fertility or in some cases causes permanent damage (loss of fertility, death in rare cases etc.). This can be quiet dangerous especially when some STDs are asymptotic (that is, they don’t show any signs or symptoms during the initial stage). Following article states the result of all the untreated STDs.
What happens if an STD is left untreated?
Some STD like Hepatitis B in acute stage disappears when left untreated while few could be life-threatening in nature. The consequences of untreated STDs in females may differ than that to the males. Different STDs shows different reactions when left untreated so let’s find that out.
Chlamydia when left untreated in females,
It can cause infertility, it is the major cause of infertility in many countries as the disease shows no major signs or symptoms in the initial stages thus the people don’t realise that they have Chlamydia and it spreads throughout the body even affecting the organs in the reproductory system, in particular, the uterus and fallopian tubes, which can result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women.
Apart from Infertility untreated Chlamydia can cause the following
- Inflammation of the lining of the uterus (endometritis)
- Inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis)
- Inflammation in the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries (pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID)
- Inflammation of the glands at the opening of the vagina (Bartholin glands)
- Pelvic infection and long-term pelvic pain (abscess)
- Lever complications (rare), where it inflates the liver.
Untreated chlamydia in men
- Loss of fertility
- Inflammation of urethra
- Inflammation of the epididymitis (it is the tubes that hold sperm)
- Inflammation of the prostate, the gland that makes most of the fluid in semen (prostatitis)
Untreated Gonorrhea can cause permanent health problems in both men and women. It can cause Pelvic Inflammatory disease by entering the uterus or Fallopian tubes, thus risking the chances of infertility among women, if treatment is delayed.
During Pregnancy Gonorrhea can lead to
- Baby born with conjunctivitis
- Premature labor
Untreated Gonorrhoea in men.
In men, it can cause infection in prostate glands and testicle which also can be very painful and can lead to loss of fertility in some cases.
In rare cases, gonorrhea can cause septicemia, where the bloodstream to cause life-threatening infections in other parts of the body.
Long-term effects of untreated STD like Syphilis can be very devastating due to the fact that it can lead to death as it grows in stages.
After the preliminary stages when the painless sores and skin rash stage is passed. Tertiary syphilis takes over. This happens anywhere in between 2 months to 20 years after the latent stage of syphilis. Tertiary stage of Syphilis is the most destructive stage of syphilis. During this stage, syphilis may cause
- serious blood vessel problem
- nerve system problems
- cardiovascular syphilis: the one affecting heart and blood vessels
- mental disorder: as in neurosyphilis
- loss of sight
It may begin as early as 1 year after infection or at any time during the infected person’s life. Any organ system (such as the central nervous system) may become involved.
Untreated Syphilis in Pregnant women can lead to complications like premature delivery or miscarriage. During the childbirth or can pass to their baby and can even cause death.
Herpes outbreak may be more frequent if left untreated. Sores will re-appear after every few weeks. It all starts with sores appearing, the surrounding area feel may itchy or burning sensation. As the outbreak is unpredictable it can become an inconvenience. Sores can last a few days, then a scab will form over and the sore will heal without leaving a scar.
Thus, to conclude untreated Herpes can result in following risks
- Threat of spreading to other parts
- Risk to Pregnant mother and her baby
- More severe and frequent outbreaks
- Weak Immune system & complications related to it
Untreated Hepatitis A
Probably the safest of all, untreated Hepatitis A in most cases, the liver infection it causes goes on its own. It doesn’t lead to long-term liver problems, in very rare cases, it can be troubling.
Untreated Hepatitis B
When Hepatitis B is left untreated for long, it may cause serious liver problems.
Liver Cirrhosis: Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) affects around one in five people with chronic hepatitis B, often many years after they first got the infection.
Cirrhosis doesn’t usually cause any noticeable symptoms until extensive damage to the liver has occurred when it can cause:
- tiredness and weakness
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- very itchy skin
- tenderness, pain, or swelling in the tummy
- swelling of the ankles
People with cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B have around a 1 in 20 chance of developing liver cancer every year.
Fulminant hepatitis B
In less than 1 in 100 cases, Acute (short-term) Hepatitis B can lead to a serious problem called fulminant hepatitis B.
Fulminant hepatitis B causes complications of liver and affects its working and is often fatal if not treated quickly.
Untreated Hepatitis C
There is a big problem with Hepatitis C, even if it is treated the virus remains in the dormant state and the body shows sign of being cured. Around 80% of the people infected with the virus aren’t able to clear it from their bodies. Thus the chronic hepatitis C can lead to dangerous health conditions like cirrhosis, which scars the liver & impairs its function.
Many parts of the body can be affected by untreated hepatitis C, including
Liver: It may develop cirrhosis or scarring
Brain: Toxins develops in the brain because of cirrhosis inside, causing, hepatic encephalopathy which results in sleepiness, confusion, and disorientation.
Bones. osteosclerosis, in rare cases
Kidneys. Hepatitis C if left untreated develops glomerulonephritis,(a type of inflammation) thus hepatitis Causes kidneys to shut down.
Untreated Hepatitis C
It has also been found to be associated with type 2 diabetes, thus leads to body insulin resistance and thus leads to sugar problem.
Untreated HIV advances in stages, without treatment it advances further overwhelming your immune system and getting worse over time. The three stages of HIV infection are:
(1) acute HIV infection, (2) clinical latency, and (3) AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
The good news is that the progress of HIV can be curbed before it advances to AIDs by the use of medical treatments. if HIV infection is left as is, without treatment, your immune system becomes too damaged to defend against life-threatening infections & cancers or even increases the risk of heart attack.
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