Chlamydia

WHAT IS IT?

Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs. It is caused by bacteria and it can affect the cervix, urethra, and occasionally the rectum, throat, and eye. It is most common in people who are between 15 and 24 years old, but anyone of any age can get it.

HOW WOULD I GET IT?

Chlamydia can be spread through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner. Someone can become infected through sexual contact even if there is no penetration or ejaculation (e.g., oral sex). Chlamydia can also be passed from a mother to her infant during birth, which may lead to lung and/or eye infections in the infant.

HOW WOULD I KNOW I HAD IT?

Many infected individuals have no symptoms. However, if someone did have symptoms, they would likely appear 2 - 6 weeks after initial exposure to the bacteria.

Symptoms for females may include:
• Vaginal discharge
• Painful urination
• Lower abdominal pain
• Vaginal bleeding after intercourse or between menstrual periods
• Pain during intercourse
• Eye or rectal infection (very rare)

Symptoms for males may include:
• Clear, watery, or milky urethral discharge
• Itchy urethra
• Painful urination
• Testicular pain
• Eye or rectal infection (very rare)

To learn more about how to get tested for chlamydia, please visit the STI Testing section of our website.

CAN IT BE TREATED AND CURED?

Yes. Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. It is important for both/all partners to be treated.

IF IT ISN’T TREATED, CAN IT LEAD TO MORE SERIOUS PROBLEMS?

Yes. Chlamydia can lead to serious complications if not detected and treated early. For females, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is when infection spreads to the uterus and fallopian tubes. This can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. Untreated chlamydia can also lead to rashes, sores, and joint pain. For males, untreated chlamydia can lead to inflammation of the testicles, prostate and scrotum. It may also lead to rashes, sores, and joint paint; and in rare cases, in can cause infertility. It is also important to note that individuals (all genders) infected with chlamydia are at increased risk of contracting and transmitting HIV.