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Q & A with Dr. Cullins: STIs/STDs

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    Is it true that some sexually transmitted infections can cause arthritis?

    Yes. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can both cause sterility as well as arthritis. It is more likely to occur in men and can be permanently disabling. About 5,000 men a year develop reactive arthritis caused by chlamydia.

    Untreated gonorrhea can lead to a condition called disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). The arthritis caused by DGI can permanently damage the joints of the back, hips, neck, hands, arms, feet, and legs. DGI develops in up to three percent of untreated women and men. Women, especially adolescent women, are three times more likely than men to develop DGI.

Published: 08.20.04 | Updated: 02.01.07

This column is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a medical problem, please call toll-free 1-800-230-PLAN for an appointment with the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you.

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