What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It is estimated that chlamydia is the most common STD with 3 - 4 million new cases each year. Rates of chlamydia are highest in the West and Midwest, part of the contry. How is it Spread?
Chlamydia is spread by direct person-to-person contact. It is almost always transmitted through sexual contact. It is also possible for pregnant women to pass the bacteria to their infant during birth.
How Do you Know if you are Infected?
Because symptoms are not always present, you may be infected with chlamydia and not know it. You can be tested for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases at your local doctor. To test for chlamydia, the physician will use a cotton swab to collect cells from your genitals.
What are the Symptoms?
If present, symptoms may appear in a week to a month after infection. Seventy-five percent of persons with chlamydia may show no symptoms. Men are more likely than women to show signs of infection.
Chlamydia in Men
Mild, sticky, milky or mucus-like discharge from penis
Irritation around opening of the penis
Symptoms may seem to "come and go"
Chlamydia is often silent in women, with up to 90% of women asymptomatic. Women can carry the bacteria for months or even years without knowing it. This makes screening very important. When symptoms do present, they include the following: Chlamydia in Women
Mild, milky or mucus-like discharge
Bleeding between menses
It is possible to acquire the infection in the pharynx (throat) from oral-genital contact. Infected persons can also transfer the infection to their eyes. Are There Any Long Term Complications?
When treated early, there are no long term consequences of chlamydia. Serious complications can result however when left untreated.
Long term complications in men may include:...