- Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI in the United States. Almost 1.5 million cases were reported in 2014! Guess what? Because most people with chlamydial infections don’t show symptoms, the number of actual infections is estimated to be MUCH higher than the number of those reported.
- 50% of new chlamydia cases are being found in young people, aged 14-24.
- Chlamydial infections usually do not show signs or symptoms, especially in women. If symptoms do occur they commonly include:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Burning sensation during urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal bleeding or spotting
- Discharge from the penis
- Burning/itching sensation during urination
- Pain/swelling in one or both testicles
- Untreated, chlamydia can cause long-term damage. Because cases often go without symptoms, people don’t get tested and treated for chlamydia, Untreated chlamydial infections can progress to upper reproductive organs like the fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) for women leading to infertility and an increased risk for ectopic pregnancies. For men, the infection might progress to the epididymis (the tubes that contain sperm), which sometimes leads to sterility.
- Chlamydia can infect several different areas. If you’ve engaged in vaginal, anal or oral sex, it’s possible for chlamydia to infect not only your genitals, but your rectum and throat. To reduce the risk of missing an infection during testing, it is a good idea to have each area that is at risk for infection tested. Occasionally one area will indicate a positive result and another will not. If you only test the genitals and the test comes up negative, you may have missed treating an infection present in the throat or rectum.
- Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Individuals diagnosed with chlamydia should abstain from all sexual activity for one week upon finishing antibiotics. You can become re-infected with chlamydia after being cured. This is why it is crucial for partners of those who have chlamydia to also get tested and treated for chlamydia. Many STI clinics will automatically treat partners of a laboratory confirmed case of chlamydia without having to even test. More and more clinics are also offering Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT), where the person who has a positive test is able to take antibiotic treatment to their partner if their partner is embarrassed or reluctant to visit the clinic.
If you are sexually active, take control of your sexual health by choosing to get tested. Also, rather than risk repeated infections with chlamydia or other STI’s, some of which are incurable, think “Risk Elimination”, as the safest lifestyle choice. You are worth protecting.
Learn more about how you can receive confidential, affordable STI testing and treatment by visiting Clarity Testing Clinic.