The Facts About Chlamydia
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia infection is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis.
How is Chlamydia spread?
Chlamydia infection can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It is more easily transmitted from male to female. Mothers of newborn infants can transmit the infection during childbirth. People treated for Chlamydia can get it again if exposed.
What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?
Some people do get symptoms when they have a Chlamydia infection. Symptoms of Chlamydia in women can include inflammation of the cervix, abdominal or pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, and painful urination. Urethral infections in males may cause discharge from the penis, painful urination, and/or unilateral testicular pain, tenderness, or swelling. If the Chlamydia infection involves the anus and rectum, then rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding in both males and females can occur.
What complications can result from Chlamydia?
If left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID occurs when the infection spreads to the uterus or fallopian tubes. PID occurs in about 10-15% of women who do not receive treatment. PID is associated with long-term problems including chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility.
Another possible complication of Chlamydia infection is the spread of the infection from a mother to her baby. If the mother is infected, newborn infants may acquire diseases like conjunctivitis and pneumonia at the time of childbirth. It can even cause pre-term delivery.
Can Chlamydia be prevented?
Yes; Chlamydia can be prevented by refraining from sexual activity until a person is in a lifelong, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. Mothers should be screened for Chlamydia infection during pregnancy to prevent the spread of Chlamydia infection to their babies