Definition

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Causes

Bacteria from an infected sex partner causes the infection. This can happen during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

Risk Factors

The infection is most common among people under 24 years old. It is also more common in people who are Black or Hispanic.

Other things that raise your risk are:

  • Having sex
  • Prior STIs
  • Having a new sex partner
  • Having more than one sex partner
  • Having a partner with an STI
  • Having sex without a condom

Symptoms

Most people do not have signs of infection. If they do happen, they may be:

In men:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Pus exiting the penis
  • Scrotal pain or swelling

In women:

  • A change in vaginal discharge
  • Pain or bleeding during sex or between periods
  • Belly pain
  • Vaginal redness or pain
  • Pain when urinating
Male Genitourinary System
Prostate Gland
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Female Reproductive System Organs
Female Reproductive Organs
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Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. An exam will be done.

You will have these tests:

  • A swab of the penis, cervix, throat, or rectum
  • Urine tests

Treatment

The infection is treated with antibiotics.

To help yourself get better:

  • You and your partner should both get treated. Wait seven days before you have sex again.
  • If you still have signs after taking all your medicine, or if you are pregnant, you may need to be tested again.
  • You should be tested again three months to make sure you have not been reinfected.

Prevention

To lower your chances of getting this infection:

  • Have routine exams for STIs if you are a woman under the age of 25. Sexually active young men should get screened, but there is no guideline.
  • Always use a condom during sex.
  • Abstain from sex.
  • Limit sex to one partner.

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