It might not get as much press as herpes or human papilloma virus (HPV), but chlamydia is an extremely widespread sexually transmitted disease (STD). In fact, it's the most common STD in the U.S., affecting almost 3 million Americans [source: Morris]. A lot of people who get chlamydia -- including about 75 percent of infected women -- never experience symptoms. This might make it seem like an innocuous disease. But when it comes to fertility, chlamydia is anything but harmless.
An untreated chlamydia infection can affect a woman's ability to conceive. A common way it prevents pregnancy is by causing blockages and scar tissue development in and around the fallopian tubes. This type of fallopian-tube damage can sometimes be corrected, but surgical intervention can be invasive and carries risks.
The ideal way to prevent chlamydia-related infertility is to treat the infection as soon as possible, which can be done with antibiotics. Your partner should also be tested -- and treated, if necessary -- for chlamydia. This will decrease your odds of getting repeated infections that can raise your infertility risk.
We'll further explore fallopian tube dysfunction related to chlamydia on the next page. Keep reading to find out more.