Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the most common STIs caused by bacteria. It can occur in both men and women but is more common in young women. It’s not difficult to treat, but if left untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems.
Did you know it’s possible to have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI) without any symptoms? You can either get or give an STD/STI and not even know it.
How Do You Get Chlamydia?
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who already has it. It’s possible to get infected with it again even if you’ve already been treated for it in the past.
Sexually active young people under the age of 25 are at a higher risk of getting the disease. In fact, even if you have unprotected sex once with someone who has chlamydia, you have a 30% chance of getting it. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you’re pregnant, you can give chlamydia to your baby during childbirth.
Possible Signs and Symptoms
The Mayo Clinic says, “early-stage Chlamydia trachomatis infections often cause few or no signs and symptoms. Even when signs and symptoms occur, they’re often mild, making them easy to overlook.”
Here are some of the symptoms you may experience:
- Painful urination
- Vaginal discharge in women
- Painful sexual intercourse in women
- Bleeding between periods and after sex in women
Possible Complications Due to Chlamydia
There are several health complications that can be caused by chlamydia infection:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Infections in newborns
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Reactive arthritis
How To Avoid Getting An STD/STI
Many young people contract chlamydia trachomatis because they have multiple sex partners, do not use a condom consistently, and have a history of sexually transmitted infections/diseases.
Obviously, the easiest way to prevent chlamydia infection is to abstain from sex. If that isn’t possible, the Mayo Clinic suggests:
- Use a male latex condom or a female polyurethane condom during each sexual contact. Condoms used properly during every sexual encounter reduce but don’t eliminate the risk of infection.
- Having multiple sex partners puts you at a high risk of contracting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections. Limit your number of sex partners.
- If you’re sexually active, particularly if you have multiple partners, talk with your doctor about how often you should be screened for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.
- Avoid douching. Douching decreases the number of good bacteria in the vagina, which can increase the risk of infection.
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