Chlamydia

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A magnified picture of what bacteria looks like

Bacterial Disease
(curable with medication)

A treatable bacterial infection that causes painful sores

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia, is a curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. It is estimated that Chlamydia is the most prevalent STD with 3 – 4 million new cases each year. Chlamydia infection is very common among young adults and teenagers. It is the number one bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States today. Chlamydia is known as the “silent epidemic”. It is called a Silent Epidemic because 75% of the women and 50% of the men with the disease have no symptoms.

How Can I get Chlamydia?

You can get genital chlamydial infection during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with a partner that is affected. An infant can get chlamydia from an infected mother during pregnancy.

What are the Symptoms?

Different individuals experience different symptoms. Unfortunately 75% of women and 50% of men with the disease experience absolutely no symptoms. When they do experience symptoms, the possible symptoms are: discharge from the penis or vagina and a burning sensation when urinating. Women may experience lower abdominal pain or pain during intercourse, bleeding during intercourse and bleeding between menstrual periods. Men may experience burning and itching around the opening of the penis and/or pain and swelling in the testicles. Symptoms generally appear within one to three weeks after being infected.

How can Chlamydia be Treated?

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics (either azithromycin or oxycycline).

Can infection with chlamydia cause other health problems?

Yes! Chlamydial infections can lead to other serious health problems. When left untreated, chlamydia can increase the risk of acquiring HIV. It affects men and women differently.

In women, untreated chlamydia can spread into the pelvic area and infect the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries–leading to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Chlamydia may cause permanent damage to the woman’s reproductive organs and can lead to infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Pregnant woman with chlamydia are at risk of spontaneous abortion or miscarriage.

In men, untreated chlamydia can affect the testicles and ultimately lead to infertility.

Does Chlamydia Affect Pregnancy?

Yes! Chlamydia can affect the mother and child during pregnancy. Chlamydia can cause early labor and delivery and can be passed from mother to baby during birth. Chlamydia infection in newborns can cause an infection of the baby’s eyes, ears, genitalia and lungs. Pneumonia may also occur. If an infant has Chlamydia and its eyes are affected, without prompt medical treatment, the infant’s eyes can be seriously and permanently damaged.

Prevention

The only sure way to prevent developing a chlamydia infection is to abstain from sex or limit one’s sexual relationship to a single, uninfected partner.

Chlamydia Statistics

* About 75% of infected women and half of infected men have no symptoms of chlamydia.
* Chlamydia is the number one bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States today.
* Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can be caused by chlamydia, is a leading cause of infertility when left untreated.
* Health economists estimate that chlamydial infections and the other problems they cause cost Americans more than $2 billion a year.

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