Chlamydia Causes, Symptoms, Testing & Treatment

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Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 3 million new cases occur each year in the United States, half of which do not receive treatment. As you can imagine, over time this can grow into a big problem.

This STD is caused by a bacteria known as chlamydia tachomatis, and it spreads through sexual contact – oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Condoms significantly reduce but do not eliminate the risk of contracting it. If a mother is infected with chlamydia, she can infect her infant during childbirth.

If you frequently change sexual partners and / or do not use condoms, you are at risk for contracted chlamydia. This is true for both same sex and opposite sex couples. If you have had it in the past, you are more likely to get it again in the future. There is no immunity from having this STD in the past.

One of the biggest issues with chlamydia is that it’s not always easy to tell when you’ve been infected. According to estimates, more than half of men and women with this STI show no symptoms. In fact, up to 75% of infected women are symptom free. This is perhaps the biggest reason that these individuals do not get tested and treated.

For men, the most common symptoms are:

  • Painful urination
  • White or clear discharge from the penis
  • Burning sensation in and around the genitals
  • Pain and swelling in the testicles

For women, the most common symptoms are:

  • Painful intercourse
  • White or clear discharge from the vagina
  • Burning sensation in and around the genitals
  • Nausea and fever

Fortunately, chlamydia is one of the STIs that can be cured. Once diagnosed, a medical professional will prescribe an anti-biotic such as Azithromycin. This medicine will wipe out the infection, which you will confirm by visiting your doctor again after a few months.

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