What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects millions of people every year. Chlamydia is spread by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease. Babies can get chlamydia at birth if the mother has it.
How Do I Know if I Have Chlamydia?
Most people with chlamydia have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may not appear until weeks later. Symptoms may include:
- Painful or frequent urination
- Discharge from the vagina or penis
- Anal discomfort
- Bleeding between periods (women)
- Pain during sex (women)
- Stomach or abdominal pain (women)
- Pain or swelling in the testicles (men)
Should I Get Tested for Chlamydia?
The only way to know if you have chlamydia is to get tested at your doctor’s office or an STI clinic. Your doctor may ask you to provide a urine sample or use a swab to get a sample of fluid from the cervix, penis, rectum, or throat. Getting tested and treated early is the key to avoiding major health problems later.
Can Chlamydia Be Cured?
Most cases of chlamydia can be cured by taking medicine for a short time. Be sure your sex partner(s) also get treated or you could get infected again.
What Happens if Chlamydia is Not Treated?
Left untreated, chlamydia can cause lasting damage to the body.
In Women, It Can Cause:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a serious infection of the sex organs
- Ectopic pregnancy, a potentially deadly pregnancy outside the uterus
- Infertility (not being able to get pregnant)
- Chronic pelvic pain
In Men, It Can Cause:
- severe pain in the penis and testicles
- sterility (not being able to father children)
In addition, babies born to mothers with chlamydia may have eye and lung problems.
If You Have Chlamydia or Any Other STI:
- Take all the medicine given to you
- Do not share your medicine
- Ask your sex partner(s) to get checked
- Do not have sex until a health care provider says you and your partner(s) are cured
- Do not try to treat yourself
- Get retested three months after treatment
You Should Get Tested for Chlamydia If:
- You or your partner(s) have symptoms of chlamydia
- You have had multiple sex partners (more partners = greater risk)
- You have another STI
- Your partner tells you that they are being tested or treated for an STI
You Should Get Tested for Chlamydia Once a Year If:
- You are a sexually active woman under age 25
- You are a woman age 25 or older with new or multiple sex partners
- You are a man who has sex with other men
What About HIV and Chlamydia?
Chlamydia increases the chances that HIV can be transmitted. If you get tested for an STI, it is a good idea to get tested for HIV.
How Can You Stay Healthy?
The only sure way to avoid chlamydia and other STIs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you have sex, use a latex condom the right way every time. Have sex with one partner who has sex only with you. Use condoms unless you are sure your partner does not have chlamydia or other STIs.
Texas Infertility Prevention Project (TIPP)
The National Infertility Prevention Project is a multi-state demonstration project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The project's overall mission is to implement effective prevention strategies to reduce the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) and its potentially destructive complications.
Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)
EPT is the practice of giving medication to sex partners of persons with an STD without medical evaluation or prevention counseling. It is assumed they have the infection.
STD Treatment Guidelines 2021
Includes treatment recommendations for Chlamydia.
Texas STD Surveillance Report
This report includes Chlamydia infection rates and demographic data for Texas.