Amelia Grant

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Author: AmeliaGrant

Can Chlamydia or Other STIs Make You Miss Your Period?

Most women skip their periods during pregnancy; however, other underlying health issues might also cause menstrual abnormalities. If you have missed your period but are certain you are not pregnant, you may wonder if a sexually transmitted illness (STI) is the culprit.

STIs normally do not cause missing periods until they advance to a more serious infection known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which we will examine in this piece.

We'll also look at the most common STIs, symptoms, and how they affect your period.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Are Common
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has reached an all-time high. Every year, the United States records 20 million new STI cases. Half of the new cases are in sexually active people aged 15 to 24, even though this age group accounts for only one-quarter of the population.

You've heard of chlamydia and gonorrhea, but did you realize that other STIs are even more common? Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), infecting approximately 79 million Americans, the majority of whom are in their teens or early twenties. The other most common STIs are genital herpes and trichomoniasis. 

It is critical to recognize that any sexually active individual might develop an STI. It is impossible to truly understand another person's sexual history, so even if you are devoted to one partner, STI screening is critical for your health. It can help you diagnose an STI before it progresses to PID or other potentially fatal health issues.

What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)?
PID is a dangerous illness of the female reproductive system that can be caused by an untreated STI. It occurs when sexually transmitted germs go up your reproductive tract, from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. Long-term complications of PID may include:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Scarring in fallopian tubes
- Infertility (inability to conceive a child)
- Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in a fallopian tube)

PID is curable with antibiotics, but the damage it causes may persist. If the PID infection is not treated and spreads to the bloodstream, it can be fatal, thus precisely diagnosing PID and STIs early on is crucial.

STI Testing and Symptoms
The sneaky thing about STIs is that they rarely generate apparent symptoms, thus STI screening is essential.

Chlamydia is known as the "silent disease" since most people do not develop symptoms. Less than 25% of women experience abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when they urinate. Chlamydia normally does not cause you to miss your period.

Unfortunately, if left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious and lasting damage to a woman's reproductive system. 

The good news is that you can easily test for chlamydia with a fast urine sample. If the infection is detected early, antibiotics will cure it. Having chlamydia does not render you immune; you can contract it again.

Like chlamydia, gonorrhea can be treated with prescription medication. It is very straightforward to detect with a urine sample. Gonorrhea is also transmitted through sexual contact, and the only method to avoid it is to refrain from having sexual contact with another person.

Most women do not experience symptoms of gonorrhea. If they do, they are usually minor and easily misdiagnosed as a bladder or mild yeast infection, and they seldom cause missed periods until the STI progresses to PID.

If you have gonorrhea, leaving it untreated is harmful because it can spread to your blood and joints. It can also cause lasting pain and damage to your reproductive system, increasing your chances of obtaining HIV. It can potentially cause cardiac valve damage.

HPV is so common that more than 80% of women will contract one of the more than 100 varieties of HPV viruses. Every year, 14 million new cases of HPV are reported.

HPV normally causes no symptoms and resolves on its own. It does not cause you to skip your period, but it may cause spotting in between cycles. If it persists, it can lead to cervical cancer, genital warts, and other health issues. Pap tests can detect HPV by identifying cellular changes on the cervix.

To prevent HPV, avoid sexual contact with another person and consider obtaining the HPV vaccine.

Can Chlamydia and Other STIs Make You Miss Your Period?
Hopefully, the information we provided here has helped you understand STIs, their symptoms, and how they affect your period. To recap, most STIs will not cause you to miss your period, but it is more likely if an untreated STI has advanced to PID. In addition to missing periods, PID can result in spotting between periods.


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