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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."