Chlamydia Chlamydia

What is it?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.. This organism can cause Cervicitis in can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which is very serious and may cause chronic pelvic pain, infertility and also ectopic pregnancy. You can also find chlamydia in the throat of men who have sex with men. There is another type of STD known as lymphogranuloma venerum which is caused by another subtype of the same bacteria, Chlamydia trachomatis. This is found mainly in the developing countries. This particular subtype of the bacteria has caused outbreaks in homosexual men with infection in their rectum called proctitis.

How many people get it in the US?

According to the CDC, chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually-transmitted disease in the United States. About 2.86 million infections are estimated to occur each year. However, there are a large number of cases that are not even reported because a lot of people that have chlamydia do not have any signs or symptoms and so they do not go for testing. You will find chlamydia to be very common amongst young people as almost 2/3 of new infections are found in people between the ages of 15 to 24 years. There is an estimation that one in 20 sexually active young women between the ages of 14 to 24 have chlamydia.. Non-Hispanic Black people are known to have more chlamydia infection than non-Hispanic white people. Chlamydia is also common with men who have sex with men.


Most people with chlamydia infection may have no signs or symptoms at all.. Chlamydia is also regarded as a silent infection. For those that may have symptoms, it may not appear until several weeks after exposure. In women with symptoms they may have smelly discharge from the cervix and or vagina. It may be easy for them to bleed from the cervix, and painful intercourse. They may have the urinary system being involved which can lead to burning during urination or frequent urination. When it causes pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), some people may show no signs or symptoms while some others may complain of abdominal pain or pelvic pain. On physical examination, there are other findings that the physician may note. Chlamydia can infect also the rectum in women as possible spread from the cervix and vagina. A lot of times, the woman may show no symptoms and if she does show symptoms of proctitis, it may present as discharge from the anus or rectal bleeding or rectal pain. In men, they may have urinary system symptoms. This may include burning on urination, watery or mucoid-like urethra discharge. In some men, they may get infection in the epididymis called epididymitis which could be manifesting as swelling, pain and tenderness on one side of the testes. In men who have sex with men, Chlamydia can infect the rectum. They may show symptoms of rectal discharge or rectal bleeding or rectal pain. Sometimes in both men and women, Chlamydia can also be found in the throat in causing pharyngitis but usually may not show any symptoms. Also, In both men and women, Chlamydia can cause conjunctivitis which is an infection in the eye when the mucous membrane of the eyes come in contact with infected genital secretions.

How it's spread

TRUE OR FALSE? Ejaculation has to occur for Chlamydia to be transmitted? The answer is FALSE. Chlamydia is an STD transmitted by sexual contact with a sexual partner who is infected by Chlamydia. This contact will be with the mouth, vagina, penis or anus. All you need for transmission to occur is sexual contact with an infected individual. Chlamydia can also be transmitted during childbirth from mother to baby. After treatment of Chlamydia, one needs to take precautions as reinfection can occur with another exposure to an infected individual or to the same infected individual. What are the risk factors for infection by Chlamydia? The highest infection rates are found amongst: 1. Sexually active teenagers. 2. Sexually active young adults. 3. Sexually active African-Americans. 4. Men Who have sex with men. 5. Any sexually active person.


Any sexually active person can have Chlamydia infection. People who have Chlamydia should be tested for other STDs as well. PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE TESTED FOR CHLAMYDIA: 1. Test anyone with genital symptoms like genital discharge, or burning during urination. 2. Test anyone with a sex partner (be it vaginal, oral or anal sex partner) that got diagnosed with any sexually transmitted disease (STD). 3. Any sexually active person can be screened whether they know of exposure or not. In fact yearly Chlamydia Screening is recommended by CDC for: A. Sexually active women of 25 years of each and less. B. All women older than 25 which risk factors such as: 1. People with multiple sex partners. 2. People with new sex partners. 3. People with a sex partner diagnosed with an STD. TESTING FOR CHLAMYDIA: This is usually done by nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). Testing in women: can be done on the following samples, endocervical or vagina samples even urine or urethral swab specimen samples. Testing in men: can be done on the following samples, urine or urethral swab specimen sample. Testing in people who had oral sex: can be done by using pharyngeal swab. Testing in people who had anal sex: can be done by using rectal swab specimen. For more information please contact your healthcare provider or Visit TREATMENT OF CHLAMYDIA: Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. It is important that you finish your antibiotic prescribed for the cure of Chlamydia. It is also worthy to note that the medication would only cure the Chlamydia but any previously occurring damages by the disease will remain. If a person continues to have symptoms after treatment, please return to the healthcare provider. A person who has been diagnosed and or treated for Chlamydia should immediately inform all their sex partners within the last 8 to 10 weeks prior to symptoms manifestation. This is so that they can also be evaluated and treated. For the avoidance of doubt, sex partners include oral sex partners, vagina sex partners and anal six partners. Informing sex partners helps to decrease reinfection of self and others as well as decrease the risk of developing harmful health complications for the sex partner. We advise NO sexual activity while on treatment to prevent reinfection or infection of the sexual partner(s). For more information, please contact your healthcare provider or visit PREVENTION OF CHLAMYDIA: Mainly by practicing safe sex. 1. Condom, condom, condom! We advise latex condoms. Please, use it correctly and always. 2. Stay in a mutually monogamous relationship having made sure you and your partner are either not infected or have been tested negative for Chlamydia or other STDs. 3. Abstinence from oral, vaginal or anal sex. For further information, please visit or email

Possible consequences if left untreated

COMPLICATIONS OF CHLAMYDIA: If Chlamydia is not treated in both men and women, it can lead to harmful and serious consequences. IIN WOMEN: Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID.). PID can occur when Chlamydia or any infection spreads to the women’s reproductive organs like the uterus and Fallopian tubes. This can lead to chronic pelvic pain and even internal abscesses which may end up damaging the fallopian tube. This can lead to ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy occurring outside the womb) or Even lead to infertility. Also sometimes, some women with PID may develop which inflammation of the liver capsule and the surrounding lining of the abdomen wall. This condition is known as peri-hepatitis. At other times, the woman may have mild symptoms or may complain of abdominal pain. IN MEN: Chlamydia can lead to infection in the epididymis which is a highly convoluted duct located behind the testes that allows for the passage of sperm. Occasionally, this may lead to male infertility. Also, untreated Chlamydia in both men and women can also lead to Reiter’s syndrome which comprises a triad of urethritis, conjunctivitis and reactive arthritis. If Chlamydia is untreated it can increase an individual’s risk for either transmitting or acquiring HIV/AIDS. PREGNANCY AND CHLAMYDIA: In pregnant women, it can lead to premature delivery of the baby. The newborn maybe at risk of developing Pneumonia and Eye Infection (conjunctivitis also known as ophthalmia neonatorum). We recommend screening and treatment of Chlamydia in pregnant women. We recommend retesting pregnant women 3 weeks and 3 months after treatment.

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