Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada. When left untreated, it can lead to painful physiological problems and sterility defects. Despite being in decline for many years, rates of chlamydia infection have risen steadily since 1997. These rising rates show that people are not using safer sex methods on a consistent basis. This STI is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and can also be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth. Chlamydia exists as one of many issues concerning safe sex across Canada. In terms of unprotected or unsafe sex, it is important for people to test for Chlamydia. It is known as the 'silent disease', because more than 50 percent of infected males and 70 percent of infected females have no symptoms and are unaware of their condition. Physiological effects usually begin to appear two to six weeks after infection, but it can take longer. If the STI is left untreated, beginning symptoms include: Women Men
-A vaginal discharge-A discharge from the penis
-A burning sensation when urinating-A burning sensation when urinating -Vaginal bleeding between periods or after intercourse-Pain and/or swelling in the testicles -Pain in the lower abdomen-Pain in the lower abdomen
If the STI is still not treated after initial symptoms, long-term effects for both sexes may include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which is irritated skin in the pelvic region, and also a decrease in fertility rates. Even without symptoms, however, chlamydia can be transmitted and can lead to serious health problems and sterility, especially in women. Anyone at risk should therefore be tested. Support Services
Health Canada's Sexual Health and Sexually Transmitted Infections Section provides national leadership and coordination through programs that develop and support surveillance and targeted research studies. Working with provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations and health...