Chlamydia

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a common and treatable sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is caused by a bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis which can be passed from person to person during vaginal, oral, and anal sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 2.8 million new cases of chlamydia in the United States each year, with most going undiagnosed.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is known as a "silent" infection as an infected person often does not display any symptoms. Even if symptoms do occur, they may not appear for several weeks after the initial exposure. Symptoms in women include painful urination, unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, and stomach pain. Damage may occur to a woman's reproductive organs if it is left untreated. Symptoms in men include discharge from the penis, painful urination, and burning and itching around the penis.

How would I become infected with chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex with an infected individual. The STD can be transmitted even if a man does not ejaculate, as well as without inserting your tongue or penis fully into the vagina or anus. Chlamydia can also be spread from an infected woman to her child during childbirth.

How do I get tested for chlamydia?

The most common test is the chlamydia nucleic acid amplification test (CNAA), which is performed using a urine sample. This test is highly recommended by the CDC for its accuracy, simplicity and quick results.

How does the chlamydia test work?

The NAA test is based on the amplification of the bacteria's DNA. Because this test is so sensitive, false-positive results are highly unlikely. Should you test positive for chlamydia, we can immediately put you in touch with a physician to further discuss and receive advice on your options and the next steps to take, as well as prescripe a treament, if necessary.

Is chlamydia curable?

Chlamydia is entirely curable and treatment is very straightforward and simple. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics to kill the chlamydia bacteria. It is important to remember that both you and your partner must be treated for chlamydia as it is possible to become re-infected.

What could happen if it's left untreated?

Untreated chlamydia infections can lead to serious health issues. For women, untreated infections can lead to chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), as well as prenatal problems for an unborn child. Men are at risk as well as an untreated infection can spread to other parts of the penis, prostate, and testicals. If left untreated in men, chlamydia has the potential to lead to sterility.

STD Resources

If you're looking for more chlamydia resources, please visit the CDC website. You can also visit our other FAQs.

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