Five Things Every Student Needs to Know About Chlamydia
Today we’re talking STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) here on the Collage blog. While this may not be a topic you want to talk to your friends about, we wanted to give you some information because honestly, it’s a serious problem. Did you know that Chlamydia is the number one STD for men and women under the age of 25? The number is huge. Like 2.9 million new cases every year in America huge.
Here are five things every student needs to know about Chlamydia:
1. What is it?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is passed on through sexual contact. You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, oral, or anal sex with someone who is infected. If your sex partner is male you can still get chlamydia even if he doesn’t ejaculate. And if you’ve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again if you have unprotected sex with another person who has chlamydia.
2. How will I feel if I have chlamydia?
This one is tough. There are often NO symptoms, especially for women. 75 % of woman and 50% of men who have the disease show no signs that they have an infection. This isn’t good. Remember when we said this was the number one STD? It’s because so many people don’t know they have it so they continue to spread it by having unprotected sex. When and if you do have symptoms they can start 5-6 days after being infected. Often symptoms for women are painful intercourse, abnormal vaginal discharge or burning urination. For men, the symptoms can include abnormal penis discharge and painful, burning urination. Occasionally men and women can experience pain, swelling, discharge and bleeding from the rectum.
3. How do I know for sure I have chlamydia?
You have to get tested. There is no other way. Collage
will soon be providing provides chlamydia testing and treatment in both our Kearney and Grand Island offices. (Updated Jan 2015) You can soon schedule an appointment to receive a screening and find out what treatment plan you will need to pursue if your test comes back positive. There is only a $10 lab fee for this test so it is important for you to get tested often if you choose to remain sexually active. (Updated Dec 2014 – Due to the generous support of our donors we are able to offer this service at no charge to our clients)
4. What happens if I don’t get treated?
You’re placing your sexual health and future at risk. If left untreated the results can be serious. Again, especially for women. Women who let chlamydia go are at risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), infertility, and potentially an ectopic pregnancy. For men, infection can spread to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. It is rare but possible that chlamydia will prevent a man from being able to have children.
5. Is there treatment if I test positive for chlamydia?
Yes. It is important that if you do test positive for this STD that you get medication (the right kind and combination of antibiotics). And in order for the treatment to be successful you also need to take all of the medication prescribed, not have sexual contact during treatment, and not have sexual contact for 7 days after completing treatment. These standards apply to your partners also. And don’t forget to retest at 3 months if possible but no later than 1 year after being treated. We encourage you to do your research. Some people think Chlamydia isn’t a big deal. They’ll say that it is easily treated and can be avoided by always using a condom. Unfortunately the answers just aren’t that simple. There is only one sure-fire way to avoid contracting any STD and that is to abstain from having sex (vaginal, oral, and anal) until you are in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. Stay tuned to the blog or check back on our website and Facebook Page for information in the near future about when we will be launching our STD screening services. (Updated Jan 2015 – We are now offering testing and treatment for women and men.) If you are sexually active and need tested, we hope to see you. Also, be sure to tell your friends about our services. We’re here to help you and to continue the conversation about not only chlamydia but other harmful STDs you may have questions about. You can also go here for more information from the CDC about chlamydia.