Risks and Severity

The use of a condom is essential to protect yourself and your partners against STDs. If you have any concerns, you should have an STD screening test. In the event of an infection, make sure you follow the correct treatment and inform your sexual partners.

What are the complications of Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is very often asymptomatic and if left untreated, the infection may spread to the upper genital tract and cause complications:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (infection of the uterus, the fallopian tubes or the ovaries)
  • ectopic pregnancies
  • infertility in women
  • arthritis

After that, the infection could reach the abdominal cavity and the liver.


An untreated Chlamydia infection during pregnancy is associated with the risks of premature birth, a premature rupture of membranes and low birth weight.

The infection can equally be transmitted from the mother to the child, during birth. A perinatal infection with Chlamydia can cause conjunctivitis, pharyngitis or pneumonia.

Parents and carers suffering from a Chlamydia infection can transmit the infection to children if they have poor hand hygiene. This is then known as a paediatric Chlamydia infection.

In the case of STDs, pregnant women can undergo antibiotic treatment.

Sciensano publishes two reports each year documenting the evolution of STDs in Belgium. The reports are based on data-collection networks.


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