Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs. It is spread through vaginal, anal and/or oral sex without a condom or oral dam. If not detected and treated in women, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility and tubal pregnancy. In men, chlamydia may cause sterility.
Cause: a bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis
Symptoms: Women may have no signs or symptoms. There may be a presence of a new or different vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, burning sensation with urination, and /or vaginal bleeding after sex.
Men may also experience no signs or symptoms. There can be a clear to cloudy discharge from the penis, pain during urination, and/or pain in the lower abdomen and testicles.
Testing for chlamydia is painless and is done through a simple urine test or swabbing the area with a cotton swab.
Treatment: If detected early, chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics. See your healthcare provider for STI testing.
Prevention: To reduce your risk of getting STIs, including HIV, follow these practices:
- Use a condom and/or oral dam properly and consistently each time you are sexually active.
- See your healthcare provider or go to a sexual health clinic to be tested for STIs if you are sexually active or starting a sexual relationship with a new partner.
- You and your partner should be tested for STIs before becoming sexually active and then again in three to six months.
You can’t tell if someone has an STI by looking at them; the only way to know is to be tested.