In this section we will just briefly describe the common complications of STIs. You have to note that complications of STIs have huge health, social and economic implications. Therefore your active identification and referral of STIs cases in the community greatly reduces the burden associated with them. Table 31.2 summarises the common complications of STIs with their respective causes.

Table 31.2 Common complications resulting from STIs.

STI infectionComplication
gonococcal (gonorrhoea) and chlamydia infection
  • Infection of the testis in men that may lead to infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the uterus) due to damage to fallopian tubes in women
  • Pelvic and generalised peritonitis
  • Infertility in women
gonocchocal infection (gonorrhoea)Conjunctivitis and blindness in infants
human papilloma virus Genital or cervical cancer
chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes virus and trichomoniasis bacteria Increased transmission of HIV from genital inflammations due to the cuts, tears, abrasions that would expose the genital mucosa to HIV.