Chlamydia – Just The Facts
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It is the most commonly reported STD in the United States and is considered a silent disease because 75% of women and 50% of men never display symptoms, resulting in many people unknowingly spreading the disease.
How can I get Chlamydia?
You can get Chlamydia by engaging in vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who already has it. If your sex partner is male, you can get it even if they don’t ejaculate.
Am I at risk?
Any sexually active person can get Chlamydia when they engage in sex with someone who has it. Sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting a STD, including Chlamydia. CDC states there are currently 110 million people infected with a STD and 20 million new infections yearly.
Can it affect my baby if I’m pregnant?
Untreated Chlamydia has been linked to problems during pregnancy including preterm labor and low birth weight. Chlamydia can also be passed to your baby during delivery, and if untreated can result in eye and lung infections. All pregnant women should be tested for Chlamydia at least once, and possibly more if they are at high risk.
Common symptoms of Chlamydia
Often there are no symptoms present in those infected with Chlamydia. If there are symptoms, they differ in men and women.
Symptoms in men:
- Discharge from penis
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Burning and/or itching around the penis opening.
Symptoms in women:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding
- Abdominal pain or back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Rectal pain
How can I know if I’m infected?
Getting tested is the only way to know for sure. If you are showing any symptoms, or think you are at risk, you should get tested. A simple urine test is the most common way to test for Chlamydia.
Can Chlamydia be cured?
Yes, with the proper treatment Chlamydia can be cured once diagnosed. It is important for you to take all medication prescribed to cure the infection and that you not share your medication with anyone else. Medication can stop the infection, but it cannot undo any permanent damage caused by the disease. Repeat infection is common, so you should be tested again about 3 months after treatment even if your partner was treated.
What if I don’t get treated?
If untreated, not only will you spread the disease if you continue to be sexually active, but it can have lasting affects on your health. In women, it can spread to you uterus and fallopian tubes causing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can result in the formation of scar tissue that block the fallopian tubes, an ectopic pregnancy, infertility and long-term pelvic and/or abdominal pain. In men, there are fewer long-term health problems. It can spread to the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles resulting in pain and fever. Occasionally it can result in men being unable to have children. Left untreated it may also increase your risk of getting HIV.
At Collage we care about you and want you to have all the information you need to take care of yourself when it comes to your sexual health. If you think you might have Chlamydia, we offer complimentary STD testing and treatment at no cost to you. We’d love to have you come in for a test and to answer any questions you may have.