Chlamydia is common in the U.S. with over 1 million cases reported each year (the actual number of cases is likely much higher). Among all age groups, teens and young adults have the highest rates of infection.
Most women (and some men) have asymptomatic chlamydia infections, and annual testing for the infection is recommended for all sexually active women age 25 and under. Yearly testing is also recommended for women over age 25 who have risk factors for chlamydia (e.g., those with new partners and those with multiple sex partners). Depending on exact risk factors, some women may need more frequent screening, and men who might be at risk should also talk with their healthcare providers to see if testing is recommended.
Chlamydia is a curable infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis.
Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal and anal sex and, although less likely, through oral sex too.
Most women with chlamydia (and about half of men) do not experience symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after infection.
Since symptoms may not be present, the only way to know if a person who may be at risk is infected with chlamydia is to be tested. This can be as simple as peeing in a cup! Other tests include taking a specimen from the infected area.
Chlamydia can cured with a simple antibiotic, however, if left untreated, chlamydia can lead to complications such as PID and, potentially, infertility. Ã‚Â· A person is able to transmit chlamydia to a partner from the time they become infected until treatment is completed.
Chlamydia can be transmitted even if the penis or tongue does not enter the vagina, mouth, or rectum. Using latex condoms consistently and correctly Ã¢â‚¬â€œ from the very beginning of sexual contact until there is no longer skin contact Ã¢â‚¬â€œ reduces the risks of chlamydia transmission.
"If you think you just have a yeast or urinary tract infection, you just take some medicine for it. You don't go to the doctor and might not even know it can be something else!"
--A 19-year-old female, commenting on how
symptoms can be misleading