What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a common, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STD) that can infect both men and women. Chlamydia is caused by bacteria that can infect the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth/throat.
How do I know if I have chlamydia?
Most Chlamydia infections don’t cause signs or symptoms. If you have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after having sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.
Symptoms may include:
- For women, abnormal vaginal discharge
- For men, discharge from their penis
- For men, pain, and swelling in one or both testicles ( less common)
- Burning sensation when urinating for both men and women
Rectal symptoms for men and women include:
- Rectal Pain
See your medical provider if you notice any symptoms or if your partner has symptoms.
Or try the at-home testing service in Alaska. You can go to www.iwantthekit.org to request a free testing kit.
Can chlamydia be treated?
Yes, chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics prescribed by a medical provider. It is essential to take all of the medication your doctor/provider prescribes to cure the infection.
You can have repeat infections with chlamydia. You should be tested again in about three months after you are treated.
How can I get it?
- Chlamydia can be passed from person to person during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Ejaculation does not have to happen for the infection to be passed from one person to another.
- Chlamydia can also be passed from mother to baby during childbirth.
How can I get treated?
- Chlamydia infections can be easily cured with antibiotics. See a medical provider or if in Alaska use at-home testing by going to www.iwantthekit.org
- A laboratory test can diagnose chlamydia. Your health care provider or doctor may ask you to provide a urine sample or may ask to take a cotton swab to get a sample from your vagina to test for chlamydia.
- Completing the prescription antibiotic treatment all the way is important, even when the symptoms go away, or you start to feel better.
- Abstaining from sex for seven days after treatment is important because infections can spread if not cleared up completely.
- Contacting any sexual partners to let them know they should be tested and treated if necessary.
What happens if I don’t get treated?
- About 10 to 15 percent of cisgender women with untreated chlamydia will develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- PID can cause permanent damage to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries and cause chronic pain, infertility, and ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
If you are sexually active, get tested every year or more. This way, you can get treated right away. See your provider to get tested or use at-home testing by going to www.iwantthekit.org.