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Chlamydia


 

Chlamydia infection is a very common STD. Because most people do not have symptoms, chlamydia may not be noticed until it causes severe problems. Left untreated, this STD can cause women and men to become sterile  (unable to ever have children).

To help prevent chlamydia, always use a latex condom during sex.

Symptoms

Many people with chlamydia have no symptoms.

If symptoms show up in women, they include:

  • Yellow discharge (fluid) from the vagina or anus
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain or burning during urination

If symptoms show up in men, they include:

  • Clear discharge (drip) from the penis or anus
  • Pain or burning during urination

Potential Problems

If the infection is not treated, it can develop into something much more serious. In women, this can be pelvic inflammatory disease  (PID). PID can make a woman sterile or cause an ectopic (tubal)  pregnancy, which cannot be carried to term. Symptoms of PID include fever or chills, painful sex, and abdominal pain.

Treatment

When found early, chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotic medications. Men who have chlamydia should tell their partner right away, because women are more likely to not have symptoms.

Prevention

To help prevent getting chlamydia, know your partner's medical history. If either of you has had sex with anyone else, protect yourself by using a latex condom whenever you have sex. If you are pregnant, take extra care. Untreated chlamydia in a pregnant woman can cause eye, ear, or lung problems in the baby.

Resources

CDC National STD Hotline: 800-227-8922

www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd

American Sexual Health Association http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/

Regular medical checkups can detect chlamydia early, before it develops into PID.

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