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Julie Dawson, 26, was diagnosed with chlamydia when she was 18.  It had led to advanced pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

 

"By the time I was diagnosed I must have had chlamydia for a couple of years. I was having episodes of such severe pain in the lower area of my abdomen that I kept collapsing. Over a six-week period I had 10 emergency admissions where I'd be rushed into hospital by ambulance. I was working at the time, but needless to say, I lost my job.

"No one could work out what was wrong with me. I had six laparoscopies and my appendix was taken out as a safety measure. In the end, they discovered that I had enormous adhesions which were caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. The adhesions were so vast they couldn't see my womb and my fallopian tubes were so badly damaged I had to have an operation to remove them. I was able to keep my ovaries, thank goodness. 

"The adhesions were a direct result of the PID, and they were the cause of all the acute pain. I hadn't known much about chlamydia, before then. It wasn't even as if I'd had lots of sexual partners. I'd had one sexual experience and then had a long-term boyfriend.

"At the time, I was very naive and didn't really understand the implications of PID and the fact that my tubes were removed. It was more a case of them doing what had to be done so that I could get on with living a life again. But I suffered a lot emotionally when I realised afterwards that I might never have children. 

"My husband and I have been through three attempts at IVF in order to start a family. And now, thankfully, I'm pregnant with twins." 

view information about Chlamydia on www.nhs.co.uk »

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