Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both men and women caused by a bacteria. It is currently the most common STI, infecting approximately four million people a year.
Street Name: The Clap, the Silent Infection
How you get it:
Chlamydia is passed through anal, oral and vaginal sex. It is possible to get chlaymida in both your genitials and throat. Even when the male does not ejaculate, Chlamydia can still be transmitted.
Symptoms: 90% of Men WILL show symptoms of infection. The overwhelming majority of women (79%) WILL NOT show any symptoms.
Male symptoms: discharge or dripping from penis; burning while urinating; pain and swelling in the genitals.
Female symptoms: vaginal odor; discharge; burning while urinating; some women may feel lower back and abdominal pain; pain during sexual activities; fever.
(Again most women will NOT show any symptoms)
Treatment/ Relief: For most cases, chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics – usually “doxycycline” and “azithromycin”, which are used to fight bacteria.
What you should know?
If not treated, Chlamydia can cause grave and permanent damage to female and male reproductive organs.
- Chlamydia usually begins with an inflammation of the cervix. The long-term health effects of chlamydia remain unclear. If chlamydia goes untreated the infection can spread and result in infertility (can’t get pregnant). If the infection were to spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, it could cause pelvic infection and scarring.
- If left untreated, Chlamydia could also lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Many women that have chlamydia do not get PID and not all women with PID have a chlamydia infection
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, PID is an infection of the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and other reproductive organs. Symptoms of PID, include lower abdominal pain, pain with intercourse, pain during menstruation and irregular periods. The scarring of the tubes can possibly cause infertility and put a woman at higher risk for developing an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that implants outside of the uterus).
In men, chlamydia can cause urethritis (inflammation of the urethra). If this remains untreated, it may also cause sterility (sperm won’t work and fertilize an egg) in men.
California Chlamydia rates (per 100,000 population):
- African American – 1,030.3
- Latino – 332.6
- Native American – 216.4
- White – 141.9
- Asian/Pacific Islander – 118
How is pregnancy affected?
If the infection caused scarring in the uterus or fallopian tubes, women might have a hard time conceiving and carrying a pregnancy. Women can transmit chlamydia through the birth canal. This can lead to serious eye and lung infections in the infant.