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Left untreated, the germs that cause NGU, especially chlamydia, can lead to serious complications. For men, complications may include:

  • Epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis, the elongated, cordlike structure along the posterior border of the testes) which can lead to infertility if left untreated.
  • Reiter's syndrome (arthritis)
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Skin lesions
  • Discharge

In women:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which can result in ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
  • Recurrent PID which may lead to infertility.
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Urethritis
  • Vaginitis
  • Mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC)
  • Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage)

For men or women, infections caused by anal sex may lead to severe proctitis (inflamed rectum).

Infants exposed to the germs causing NGU during passage through the birth canal may develop conjunctivitis (eye infection) and/or pneumonia.

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