Although curable STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be rid from the body with antibiotics (thanks, modern medicine!), they aren’t always harmless. These curable STDs are falsely perceived as a “no biggie,” since they go away with a shot or a pill. But many people forget they can cause life-long damage if untreated. Let’s take a look at the risks associated with curable STDs:

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two bacterial STDs that are cured with different antibiotics, but have similar side effects if left untreated, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is a serious condition affecting women that can lead to infertility—a devastating consequence for young women. Other long-term side effects include chronic pain and ectopic pregnancies.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, a very common, curable STD, causes genital inflammation that makes the body more susceptible to contracting other STDs and HIV. Trichomoniasis can also cause complications during pregnancy.

Syphilis

The complications from untreated syphilis are a little different than other curable STDs. When left untreated for an extended time (we’re talking 10 to 20 years), syphilis can affect the brain, nerves and other organs. Complications include blindness, paralysis, dementia and more. When a pregnant woman is infected with this STD, it can be deadly for the fetus. Fortunately, syphilis can be cured with a shot of penicillin.

So while it’s fortunate that these STDs can be cured with antibiotics, it’s imperative that they are cured quickly to avoid permanent bodily harm. Any damage already done by these STDs can’t be undone after it has occurred. One way to prevent these STDs from progressing is to get a routine STD test to catch these troublemakers early.