Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection of the vagina, penis, anus or throat. It is the number one most reported STI among youth in the United States.
Chlamydia is a bacteria that is spread through vaginal fluids and semen. You can get it through vaginal, anal, or oral sex without a condom or dental dam.
Symptoms & Complications
Most people don’t have any symptoms. For people who do get symptoms, they can include:
- painful urination
- painful ejaculation
- pelvic pain
- change in discharge (this could mean change in color, odor, consistency, or amount)
- pain or bleeding around the anus
Like all bacteria, chlamydia will multiply if left untreated. If an infected person does not get tested and treated, the infection can spread and could cause irreversible damage to the reproductive organs, leading to problems like infertility. Chlamydia will get worse if untreated, even if a person never experiences symptoms.
If you are thinking about becoming sexually active or already are, it’s important to get tested. Because chlamydia does not always show symptoms, it can be really difficult to know when someone is infected. Teen Clinic tests for chlamydia by either a swab or most commonly through a urine sample. It’s simple! Results are available within a week or two.
Chlamydia is curable and treatable with antibiotics. It’s important to finish the entire course of medication, even if symptoms go away. It is also important to refrain from any sexual contact for 7 days so reinfection does not occur.
For detailed information on each infection, check the Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/std/. You can also ask us an anonymous question right on our website. If you are experiencing symptoms of an STI, think you’ve been exposed to an STI, or want to talk to a professional, call Teen Clinic to make an appointment with a qualified health care provider.