What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women.
How is chlamydia spread?
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected with chlamydia.
When your sex partner is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate (cum).
If you’ve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again if you have unprotected sex with someone who has chlamydia.
How can I reduce my risk of getting chlamydia?
The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting chlamydia:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results;
- Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Am I at risk for chlamydia?
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can be spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your doctor and ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. Gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men should be screened for all sexual infections every year or 6 monthly if you have had more than 10 sexual partners in less than 6 months.
How do I know if I have chlamydia?
Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner.
Symptoms in men can include
- A discharge from their penis;
- A burning sensation when urinating;
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common).
Men can also get infected with chlamydia in their rectum, either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site (such as the vagina). While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause
- Rectal pain;
You can also have chlamydia infection in the throat and many people have no symptoms at all.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD, such as an unusual sore, a smelly discharge or burning when urinating.
How will my doctor know if I have chlamydia?
There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Your health care provider may ask you to provide a urine sample or may use (or ask you to use) a cotton swab to get a sample from your urethra to test for chlamydia.
Can chlamydia be cured?
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner(s) was treated.
I was treated for chlamydia. When can I have sex again?
You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
What happens if I don’t get treated?
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Untreated chlamydia is able to be spread to other people through sexual contact.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV – the virus that is associated AIDS.