Chlamydia – The most common bacterial STI.
- Super common, especially in young people. The CDC says about 1 in 15 (sexually active) gals aged 14-19 has it.
- Individuals 25 and under are more likely to contract this, and women have an even higher chance of getting it.
- Non-hispanic blacks are also at higher risk.
- HIV-infected individuals have an increased risk of getting chlamydia.
- It’s a bacterial Infection, so it can be treated and cured with antibiotics. However, a person can get this infection repeatedly. In fact, they often do.
- Diagnosis is made with a urine screen or swab (endocervical, anal, urethral, or vaginal).
- It’s silent. In other words, people don’t know they have it because they don’t usually have symptoms.
But if there are symptoms, this is what happens:
- Gals: May feel burning when urinating and notice a discharge from their vagina. Maybe some abdominal pain, too.
- Guys: Same, but in the penis (urethra). Well, not the abdominal pain – their pain may be in the testicles.
But don’t count on having symptoms as an indicator that you need to see the doc – ’cause you probably won’t have any.
Who should get tested??
- Sexually active woman, 25-years-old or younger, should be tested annually. (Oral, vaginal, anal – doesn’t matter what kind of sex…)
- If a woman is older than 25, and has had a new sexual partner(s), get tested annually.
- If a guy is having anal sex with another guy, they are at risk. So get tested annually.
- If you are pregnant, get tested (it can affect the baby).
- If your partner has just been diagnosed, get tested.
- Routine screening for sexually active guys isn’t generally recommended, but it is for sexually active young women.
- In other words, get tested if for any reason at all you feel you might be at risk.
Long-term consequences of untreated chlamydia include:
- In women: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This occurs when the bacteria attacks the female reproductive system. The end result can be infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Repeated chlamydia infections can make permanent consequences more likely. (This is why it is so important for women to get tested.)
- In newborns: It can cause pre-term birth or eye infections.
- In guys: (Very rare) Infection that could cause sterility.
Shoot! The test came back positive. Now what….?
- Antibiotics. The antibiotics must be taken as prescribed, even if the individual is feeling better! (That goes for ALL antibiotic use, not just for STI’s.)
- Don’t have sex for 7 days after the start of your antibiotics…give the medication a little time to kick in and kick some bacterial butt.
- All of the sexual partners the individual has had in the last 2 months must be notified.
- Re-test 3 months after treatment to make sure all is well.
How can one stop this from happening again?
- Well, abstain. That is the only guaranteed way a person will not become pregnant or get an STI. Period.
- Test for STI’s before initiating sex with a new partner (any kind of sex – oral, anal, vaginal.)
- Use a latex condom or female condom – and use it correctly to be fully effective.
- Be monogamous. Both partners!
Want more info? No problem. One could write a book about each STI. But I don’t want to. So instead, click on the following links for more information.
Please remember – this information is NOT intended to be used to self-diagnose or replace any medical advice your healthcare provider will give you. It is only to inform and educate. Please see your healthcare provider if you have any questions, problems, symptoms, issues, and concerns regarding your sexual health. (See my ‘Disclaimers and Advice’ page.)
(The CDC was the primary source for this information.)