'Nobody could work out what was wrong with me' 

Julie Dawson was diagnosed with chlamydia when she was 18, by which time it had developed into 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 was rushed into hospital by ambulance 10 times. I was working at the time but, needless to say, I lost my job.

"Nobody 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 caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. The adhesions were so vast they couldn't see my womb. 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 had caused all the acute pain. I hadn't known much about chlamydia before then. I hadn't even had lots of sexual partners. I'd had one sexual experience, then a long-term boyfriend.

"At the time, I was very naive. I didn't understand the implications of PID or the fact that my tubes were removed. I just let the doctors do what had to be done so that I could get on with life again. But I suffered emotionally when I later realised that I might never have children. 

"My husband and I have had three attempts at IVF in order to start a family. Thankfully, I’m now pregnant with twins." 

Page last reviewed: 10/06/2015

Next review due: 31/12/2017