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What are the Complications of Untreated STD?

What are the Complications of Untreated STD?

STD is sexually transmitted disease which anyone can catch if he or she comes in contact with the infected partner through unprotected sexual activities. STDs can be asymptomatic and can cause serious changes to the reproductive organs. It is obvious that in absence of symptoms, people tend to ignore STD tests and treatment. Some people think that STD will go by itself but the fact is that STD can induce life-threatening events without any major illness in between.

What are the Complications of Untreated STD?

Consequences of Having STD for Too Long?

Due to long-term complications created by STD, it has become important to get regularly tested if you are sexually active. If you have STD for too long, you may counter significant health issues that can be very difficult to manage. Some STDs may induce irreversible changes in the reproductive organs if you contract STD for long.

The possible complications that you can develop due to untreated STD are-

Infertility: Normally curable STD diseases can result in pelvic inflammatory diseases in women and infertility in both men and women if you have STD for too long.

HIV: Due to prolonged infection of STD, you can become susceptible to HIV. Untreated STD can lead to the easy entrance of HIV infection in your body and hamper your immunity.

Infection of the Partner: When you have contracted STD for a long time and you have not noticed it and treated it, your partner can also catch it through unprotected sexual indulgences.

Serious Systemic Disease: If you have not discovered your STD and left it untreated, they can cause serious health deteriorating consequences without having any serious illness in between. Many organ systems in your body may get infected.

Pregnancy Complications: STDs have potential to cause serious complications in pregnancy and childbirth endangering the health of the newborn. STD can cause stillbirths, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages, and newborn can catch fatal infections during delivery through the birth canal.

STD Diseases and Their Complications If Left Untreated

Chlamydia- If one has contracted chlamydia for a long period of time, males can develop urethritis, HIV, and infertility. Females may develop PID, infertility, miscarriage and preterm labor. The newborn born through infected birth canal can contract eye, ear and lung infections, and pneumonia.

Gonorrhea- Untreated gonorrhea increases the risk of HIV in both men and women. In females, it can cause ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, infertility, and scarring of fallopian tubes. Men can suffer from scarring in urethra, infections of prostate and infertility. Infants can get infections in joints and blood. Infants can also develop blindness due to gonorrhea exposure.

Herpes- Herpes infection can result in other infections through open sores more marked in immunosuppressed people. Infants can catch infections of membranes of the brain if they are exposed to mother’s herpes during delivery.

Hepatitis- If hepatitis is ignored; it can cause serious affections in liver including jaundice, cirrhosis, cancer, end-stage disease of the liver that can cause death.


Untreated Syphilis can lead to inflammation (that are soft and spongy balls) spread all over the body and bones, sores (seen on the skin and hidden inside the body), internal bleeding, enlarged liver and spleen, impaired motor functions, deformities, seizures, aneurysm, dementia, and death.

HIV- HIV leads to impaired immunity systems affecting almost all organ systems. HIV can result in severe weight loss, heart affections, cancer, liver and kidney disorders, aging before time, strokes, pneumonia, and death.


Regular screening of STD is recommended for sexually active people. STDs can be managed easily if the patient gets treatment in time. Protected and safe sex together with the general awareness of STD is extremely helpful to avoid them.


  1. World Health Organization (WHO) – Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 24, 2023

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