Read Sally's story about how she discovered she had chlamydia when she was 16. She describes her symptoms and how she was diagnosed and treated.
Sally Woodall discovered she had chlamydia when she was 16.
"I'd had lots of the symptoms of chlamydia since I was 14, but there wasn't much awareness about it in 1990. I constantly suffered with pains in my back, spotting between periods and heavy periods. But despite lots of visits to my doctor, nobody realised what it was. They thought I was just a normal teenager and put me on the pill to regulate my periods.
Then, when I was 16, I had an ectopic pregnancy. It emerged that both my fallopian tubes were damaged. The right one was so badly blocked by scarring that I had to have an operation to remove it. But still, nobody considered the fact that it could be caused by chlamydia.
"It wasn't until I had a smear test after my ectopic pregnancy, and some pre-cancerous cells showed up, that they investigated further and diagnosed chlamydia. I was given a course of antibiotics to clear up the chlamydia. Then I was told I would never conceive if my remaining tube wasn't unblocked. And that was it. It was a bit brutal. I'd always wanted to be a mum and I was heartbroken. I thought I'd never have a baby.
"I now have four children. I had a laparoscopy to clear the scarring out of my tube. But because I thought I couldn't have children and I was with a long-term boyfriend, I didn't bother taking precautions. My first was born when I was 19.
"I hadn't heard of chlamydia. I only realised what it is when I got older, and it made me feel a bit dirty. Because of the lack of information, I'd been completely unaware that I was putting not only my own health at risk, but also other people's."