What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?
From Nurse Debby
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a bacteria. It is the most commonly reported STD in the US. This disease can damage a woman’s reproductive organs and may cause her to be unable to have a child. Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease. Three quarters of infected women and half of infected men have no symptoms. Because there are sometimes no symptoms or symptoms are very mild, it can cause damage before a person even knows they are infected.
This disease can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Oral contraceptives like the pill do not prevent this disease. Neither do injectable contraceptives, implants, over the counter foams or seasonal contraceptives.
In women, the bacteria initially attacks the opening to the uterus (cervix) and the urine canal (urethra). Some women have an abnormal discharge or burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes, severe damage to the upper reproductive organs can occur but there still may be no symptoms.
Men with symptoms (only about half of men) may have a discharge from the penis and a burning sensation when urinating.
If it is not treated, Chlamydia can spread throughout the reproductive organs causing a serious condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This happens in 40% of women with untreated Chlamydia.
Your health is important. Chlamydia can be detected with a urine screen that we can do right in our office. This disease can also be passed from an infected mother to her newborn during vaginal childbirth so we strongly suggest that women get a pregnancy test as well. The disease is easily treated if it is diagnosed. Don’t hesitate. If you are sexually active you may be one of thousands who have this STD and do not know it.
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