- Chlamydia (cla MI dee a) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
- Anyone can get chlamydia. It is very common among teens and young adults.
- Young, sexually active females need testing every year.
- Most people who have chlamydia don’t know it. Often the disease has no symptoms.
- You can pass chlamydia to others without knowing it.
- Chlamydia is easy to treat and cure.
- If you do not treat chlamydia, it can lead to serious health problems.
How does someone get chlamydia?
- You can get chlamydia by having sex with someone who has it.
- “Having sex” means having anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
- If you are a pregnant woman who has chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby.
What are the symptoms?
- You can get chlamydia in the vagina or rectum. You may not notice any symptoms. But if you do have symptoms, you might notice the following:
- An unusual discharge from your vagina.
- Burning when you urinate.
- Pain, bleeding, or discharge from your rectum if you have anal sex.
- If the infection spreads, you might get a fever and have pain during sex.
- Bleeding between periods.
How can I find out if I have chlamydia?
Ask a doctor to give you a test for chlamydia. The test is easy and painless.
When should I be tested?
If you are a woman:
You should be tested once a year for chlamydia if you are:
- 25 years or younger and you’re having sex.
- Older than 25 and you’re having sex with more than one partner.
- Older than 25 and you have a new sex partner.
If you are a man:
- See a doctor if you notice a discharge or feel a burning around your penis.
Men and Women:
- See a doctor is your partner has chlamydia or symptoms that might be chlamydia.
How is chlamydia treated?
- Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics.
- Finish all of the medicine to be sure you are cured.
- Do not share your medicine with anyone. You need it all.
- If you still have symptoms after treatment, go back to see the doctor.
- You should get tested again three or four months after you finish your treatment. This is especially important if you are not sure if your partner was also treated.
Can I get chlamydia after I’ve been treated?
Yes, you can get chlamydia again. You can get it from an untreated partner or a new partner.
What happens if I don’t get treated?
If you are a woman:
- Chlamydia stays in your body if it is not treated. It can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a serious infection of the reproductive organs.
- PID may cause serious health problems if you become pregnant. PID can also cause damage that makes you unable to get pregnant.
- PID may cause chronic pain in your pelvic area.
- If you have untreated chlamydia, you could pass the infection to your baby when giving birth. Chlamydia can cause serious health problems from babies.
- If you have untreated chlamydia, you have a higher chance of getting HIV if you have unprotected sex with an HIV-infected partner.
If you are a man:
- Chlamydia rarely causes long term health problems in men. You may get an infection in the tube
- that carries sperm from the testes. This infection can cause pain and fever. In rare cases, this infection may prevent you from fathering children.
How can I lower my risk for Chlamydia?
- The surest way to prevent chlamydia is not to have sex or to have sex only with someone who’s not infected and who has sex only with you.
- Condoms can reduce your risk of getting chlamydia if used the right way every single time you have sex.
- Washing the genitals, urinating, or douching after sex will NOT prevent any STD.
A message for everyone:
Always see a doctor if your partner is being treated for chlamydia. You and your partner need to be treated. Also see the doctor if you or your partner notice any symptoms, such as an unusual discharge.
Be sure to tell your recent sex partners, so they can get tested too. Talk openly and honestly with your partner about chlamydia and other STDs.
For more information:
- Talk to your doctor.
- Call 1-800-CDC-INFO
- Visit www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia.