What Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a very common STD in all sexes and genders. It’s caused when certain harmful bacteria take over and spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex with a partner who has it. And they may or may not have any symptoms.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Penis discharge
- Burning when peeing
- Pain in the rectum (the opening)
- Swelling and tenderness in the testicles (which is less common)
- Odd rectal discharge
- Rectal irritation and bleeding
- Mouth sores
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes (on your neck)
Dangers & Risks to Know About
Those who have multiple partners or HIV have increased risk.
In women, chlamydia can move up into the reproductive tract, where it causes abdominal pain and fever. If you don’t get treatment, it can cause infertility. It can also lead to tubal pregnancies, which can be deadly to both the fetus and the parent without medical intervention.
Fact or Myth: Getting It from Toilet Seats or Kissing
The good news is that these bacteria can’t live on toilet seats. Kissing someone with chlamydia in their mouth does not transmit the disease because it does not travel in saliva. But you can get it from unprotected oral sex.
Chlamydia Statistics to Know
20% of people in the US currently have an STI. So, unless you use a condom every time or have one mutually committed partner who is not infected, your chances of getting one are likely.
For every 100,000 people, approximately 500 people will be diagnosed with this condition in a 10-year period. Women are two times as likely to receive a diagnosis. This may or may not suggest they are more likely to be infected. It could indicate women are more likely to choose to get screened for STDs because of the added health risks.
In the US, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cost individuals, insurers, and the government around $1.1 billion to treat annually.
Chlamydia Screening & Testing in Denver
The CDC has specific screening recommendations based on your risk. But generally, all sexually active people should get screening tests at least once a year or if they have symptoms. Those with increased risk should consider screening as frequently as 3 to 6 months.
Generally, all sexually active people should get screening tests at least once a year or if they have symptoms. They should retest 3 months after treatment to ensure they’re not being reinfected by their partner(s). Pregnant people should be tested as soon as possible.
Please note urine testing will not detect oral or rectal bacteria. So, request a swab test if needed based on your sexual behavior.
In Colorado, you can order a chlamydia test or test for multiple STDs without a provider’s order. Learn more about ordering your own STD testing online. Because so many STDs have similar symptoms, consider a 10-STD panel test, which can detect 10 of the most common STIs.
Treatment for Chlamydia
Is Chlamydia Curable or Treatable?
Chlamydia is a curable STD. A provider will prescribe antibiotics. You should avoid sex while receiving treatment, which can last up to a week.
It’s imperative to note you can easily catch it again if you have unprotected sex with an infected partner. Encourage your partner (or partners) to get testing and treatment to avoid passing it back and forth. And choose to use a condom every time to prevent the spread.