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Chlamydia

What Is It?

An infection caused by bacteria.

How Can I Get It?

Sexual contact (vaginal, oral or anal) with someone who has chlamydia.

What Are the Symptoms?

YOU MAY HAVE NO SYMPTOMS. Some symptoms can be pelvic pain, painful or frequent urination, vaginal discharge, bleeding after sexual intercourse.

How Can I Know For Sure?

A sample of discharge is sent to a laboratory.

How Is It Treated?

Antibiotics.

What Can Happen If I Don’t Take Care Of It?

It can cause severe infection of the reproductive organs (PID) or infertility (inability to have children). Cervical chlamydia at the time of childbirth can be passed on to the baby and can spread infection to sexual partner(s).

Chlamydia is the number one sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia infections are caused by a bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is very serious and very easily transmitted through sexual contact. Unlike many other STD’s, you may not have any symptoms, so you may not know you have it. Untreated it can cause some very serious problems. In women, it may lead to PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. In men, it may damage the epididymis (a part of the testicles) which can cause infertility.

Transmission of Chlamydia, can occur through genital, oral or anal sex. Orally, it causes a throat infection that may recur. Chlamydia can also be transferred to the eyes via the hands, or genitals.

Certain groups of people are at an increased risk of Chlamydia.

  • Under 35 years old
  • Do not use contraceptives, especially condoms
  • Use non barrier contraceptives like the pill
  • Have multiple partners
  • Have had a new sexual partner in the last two months
  • Are the sexual partner of someone who had Chlamydia

Most doctors treat Chlamydia with the antibiotic Doxycycline. Be sure to complete the entire prescription, even if you feel the symptoms may have gone away.

If you are diagnosed with Chlamydia, it is important that you talk with all sexual partners that you may have had in the last 90 days. Urge them to be seen by their doctor so that they too can get treated.

The fewer sex partners you have, the less likely you are to contract an STD. Knowing that your prospective partner has a clean bill of health, and discussing the risks of sexually transmitted diseases with your partner before engaging in sexual relations are other sensible precautions.