What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of the urethra in men, and the urethra, the cervix, or the upper reproductive organs (or all three) in women. Chlamydia can also infect the rectum and the conjunctiva of the eyes. Chlamydia is transmitted by sexual contact and is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States.
 

What causes chlamydia?

Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
 

How common is chlamydia?

Three million new cases of chlamydia occur each year. Since most people, especially women, do not have symptoms, they may unknowingly transmit the disease to their sex partners.
 

How do I prevent chlamydia?

The only sure way to prevent chlamydia to to avoid sex (including oral sex) before marriage. Once you are married, if you and your spouse are both faithful to each other and do not enter the marriage relationship with chlamydia it is impossible to acquire this disease. Therefore saving sex until marriage and marrying a faithful partner who was not previously exposed to chlamydia is the only absolute way to avoid this STD.
 

How is chlamydia spread?

Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner. A pregnant woman may also pass the infection to her newborn during vaginal delivery.
 
Chlamydia can be transmitted anytime by an infected person, whether or not symptoms are present. An infected person is contagious until he or she has been treated.
 

What symptoms will I have?

Most women (about 80%) with chlamydia do not have symptoms, while about half of all men with chlamydia do not have symptoms.2 People who do not have symptoms may unknowingly transmit chlamydia infections to their sex partners. If symptoms are present, these may include painful urination; cloudy urine; or abrnomal discharge from the urethra in men, or the urethra, the cervix, or both in women.
 

What increases my risk of getting chlamydia?

Risk factors for getting chlamydia include:

  • Having multiple sex partners.
  • Having high-risk partner(s) (partner has multiple sex partners or chlamydia-infected sex partners).
  • Starting sexual activity at a young age (before age 18).

 

How is chlamydia treated?

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic treatment, if taken exactly as directed, normally cures chlamydia infections. If antibiotics are not taken properly, the infection will not be cured. Prompt antibiotic treatment also prevents the spread of the infection and decreases complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). People who have chlamydia should avoid all sexual contact or use condoms until both partners have finished their full course of medication as prescribed.
 

If chlamydia is treated, will I be cured?

Antibiotic treatment, if taken exactly as directed, normally cures chlamydia infections. All sex partners of people diagnosed with chlamydia also need to be tested and treated to prevent reinfection. Continuing symptoms after treatment are probably caused by reinfection rather than treatment failure.
 
Having a chlamydia infection does not protect you from another infection in the future. A new exposure to chlamydia will cause reinfection even if you were previously treated and cured.
 
Some people (less than 10%) who have chlamydia also have gonorrhea, a similar sexually transmitted disease When both infections are present, medication treatment includes antibiotics that are effective in treating both chlamydia and gonorrhea.
 
**Some of above information provided via webmd.

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